Motte castle immediately north east of Church Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019014

Date first listed: 09-Nov-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 14-Mar-2000


Ordnance survey map of Motte castle immediately north east of Church Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1019014 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 16-Oct-2018 at 06:29:17.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Rushbury

National Grid Reference: SO 51440 91937


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 immediately north east of Church Farm is a well-preserved example of this class of monument, despite some disturbance to the top of the mound and parts of the surrounding ditch, and the truncation of the counterscarp bank. The mound will retain evidence relating to the nature of occupation and the types of structures that were built upon its summit. Organic remains preserved within the buried ground surfaces under the mound and the counterscarp bank, and within the surrounding ditch, will provide valuable evidence about the local environment and the use of the land before and after the motte castle was constructed. The importance of the monument is further enhanced by its proximity and contemporary association with St Peter's Church. The monument remains a prominent feature within the landscape.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a motte castle, situated to the north east of St Peter's Church. The church was founded in the Anglo-Saxon period but altered following the Norman Conquest. The castle mound occupies sloping ground, falling away in all directions except to the south west. From this position there are extensive views of Ape Dale and the surrounding uplands. The mound is oval in plan, approximately 44m by 58m at its base and about 38m by 48m across its top. The eastern part is steep-sided and stands up to 4m high. In order to create a flat top the south western portion of the mound has only been slightly raised, about 0.5m, above the level of the surrounding ground. A ditch, averaging 5m wide, surrounds the mound. It is most evident on the western and northern sides where it is bounded by a counterscarp bank, about 8m wide. Much of the rest of the ditch has been filled in, but will survive as a buried feature. The south eastern portion of this ditch has been substantially modified by modern landscaping, and as a consequence is not included in the scheduling. The counterscarp bank has been truncated by the creation of a pond to the north east and farm buildings to the south west. There are a number of features which are excluded from the scheduling: these are the concrete base of the former hen house built on top of the motte, the water trough, all fences, gates and a stile although the ground beneath all these features is included.

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


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

Legacy System number: 32328

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing