Motte and bailey castle at Castle Green


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Malvern Hills (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 78053 51954

Reasons for Designation

Motte and bailey 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-bailey 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 and bailey 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 or motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from most regions. 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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 remains at Castle Green are important in preserving a small Norman motte in good condition with little evidence of recent disturbance. The remains will also preserve the internal composition of the mounds and evidence about the accommodation provided on the motte and within the bailey. This will allow consideration of the functions of high status and defensive settlements within a frontier region during the early years of Norman colonisation. In addition, the water-logged areas of the monument will preserve environmental deposits which will provide insights into both the agricultural regime in the area during the Norman period, and the occupation and diet of the occupants of the monument.


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the motte and bailey castle at Castle Green. The motte is 4m to 5m high and 13m to 15m in diameter around the top. It is surrounded by a ditch 1m to 2m wide and 1m deep, with a counterscarp bank. To the south of the motte are the remains of another flat- topped mound, rising 3m to 4m above ground level and measuring 40m in diameter. The mound is partly surrounded by a ditch containing a water course on the north and west and partly enclosed by a moat or ponds to the south and west sides. The moat is thought to have been landscaped but continues to reflect the form shown on earlier surveys. The area thus defined is believed to be the inner bailey of the complex. The monument is first identified in a document of 1346 although the form of the earthworks suggest an earlier, Norman origin. The castle may be identified with the manor of Castleleigh held by the Pembridge family from the Abbots of Pershore in the 13th century. The modern post and wire fencing and all modern surfaces and garden features 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. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

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Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire: Castle Green Liegh Sinton, (1914)
Aston, M., Unpublished survey of the Motte at Catle Green, SMR records 1970's
Various SMR Officers, Unpublished notes concerning the Motte At Catle Green, SMR records 1960's to 1990's


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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