Motte castle, 110m north west of St Mary's Church

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017767

Date first listed: 09-Jan-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Jan-1998

Map

Ordnance survey map of Motte castle, 110m north west of St Mary's Church
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Warwickshire

District: Stratford-on-Avon (District Authority)

Parish: Halford

National Grid Reference: SP 25793 45680

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Motte castles are medieval fortifications introduced into Britain by the Normans. They comprised a large conical mound of earth or rubble, the motte, surmounted by a palisade and a stone or timber tower. In a majority of examples an embanked enclosure containing additional buildings, the bailey, adjoined the motte. Motte castles and motte-and-bai1ey castles acted as garrison forts during offensive military operations, as strongholds, and, in many cases, as aristocratic residences and as centres of local or royal administration. Built in towns, villages and open countryside, motte castles generally occupied strategic positions dominating their immediate locality and, as a result, are the most visually impressive monuments of the early post-Conquest period surviving in the modern landscape. Over 600 motte castles and motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from most regions. Some 100-150 examples do not have baileys and are classified as motte castles. As one of a restricted range of recognised early post-Conquest monuments, they are particularly important for the study of Norman Britain and the development of the feudal system. Although many were occupied for only a short period of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

The motte castle at Halford survives well and is relatively undisturbed by later activities. Buried archaeological deposits relating to both the construction of the castle and the activities of its inhabitants will survive within the infilled ditch and the mound itself providing valuable information on the wealth and status of the motte castle.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument is situated adjacent to the River Stour on the western outskirts of the village of Halford and includes the earthworks and buried remains of a motte castle. The flat-topped mound has a diameter of approximately 28m at its base and stands some 4m high. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, surrounds the mound on all but the western side where the river serves as a natural boundary. The ditch has become infilled over the years but will survive as a buried feature approximately 5m wide and is included in the scheduling. There are references to a castle at Halford in an early 14th century Subsidy Roll and the motte castle is believed to be the predecessor to the present manor house situated some 260m to the north east. All fenceposts and the surface of the tennis court are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 21668

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Chatwin, P B, 'Transactions of the Birmingham Archaeologiacl Society' in Castles in Warwickshire, , Vol. 67, (1947), 32

End of official listing