Motte and bailey castle known as The Mount


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018329

Date first listed: 10-Feb-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Jan-1999


Ordnance survey map of Motte and bailey castle known as The Mount
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 07:49:48.


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

County: Suffolk

District: Waveney (District Authority)

Parish: St. John, Ilketshall

National Grid Reference: TM 36890 87970


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

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 motte and bailey castle known as The Mount is a good example of this class of monument, with well preserved earthworks. Archaeological information concerning the construction and occupation of the castle, including remains of the buildings and other structures which stood on and within the earthworks, will be contained in the motte and deposits within the bailey. Organic materials, including evidence for the local environment in the past, are also likely to be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the fill of the ditches. The soils buried beneath the motte and the raised platform of the bailey may also retain evidence for land use on the site prior to the construction of the castle.


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


The monument includes a motte and bailey castle situated on rising ground overlooking a small valley to the south. The motte is visible as a flat- topped, sub-circular mound approximately 46m in diameter and 5m in height above the prevailing ground level, encircled by a ditch up to 10m wide and open to a depth of between 2m and 3m. The bailey which adjoins the motte on the south side is sub-rectangular in plan, with a central platform measuring approximately 53m east-west by 30m and raised up to 0.7m above the prevailing ground level. It is enclosed on the west, south and east sides by a ditch approximately 13m in width and open to a depth of up to 2m below the external ground level. A wide drainage channel of comparatively recent date has been cut through the outer edge of the western arm of the bailey ditch, linking it to an adjacent quarry pit.

The vertical parts and corrugated metal sheeting which block the modern drainage channel and cut the western arm of the bailey ditch, modern fences and a modern pipe and timber upright supporting it are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all 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.

Legacy System number: 30547

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Suffolk: Volume I, (1911), 600

End of official listing