Castle Hill: a motte castle 250m east of Hanby Hall Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Castle Hill: a motte castle 250m east of Hanby Hall Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Lindsey (District Authority)
Welton Le Marsh
National Grid Reference:
TF 47673 69809

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

Castle Hill motte castle survives well as a series of earthwork and buried deposits. These remains will preserve evidence of the form of the fortifications, and the artifically raised ground will preserve evidence of land use prior to the construction of the motte. The association of the motte castle with the medieval manor of Hanby contributes to an understanding of the development of the medieval landscape.


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval motte castle, known as Castle Hill, located 250m east of Hanby Hall Farm. In 1086 land at Welton le Marsh was held by Gilbert de Gant, and during the 13th century, by Jolanus de Hamby. The motte is associated with the medieval manor of Hanby.

The motte takes the form of a large mound, approximately 5m high, enclosed by a ditch. The motte is subrectangular in plan, measuring 50m by 40m at its base, with rounded corners and steep sides to the north and east. The top of the motte measures up to 30m in length, sloping gently down to the south west; a level platform, 10m in width, at north eastern corner may indicate post-medieval alteration. The ditch enclosing the motte on the east and north sides is visible as a depression measuring up to 6m in width and up to 0.5m deep. The southern ditch arm has been infilled but survives as a buried feature visible on aerial photographs. The western arm has been partly infilled and is now marked by a shallow depression. A low bank marks the outer edge of the north western corner of the ditch.

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
Foster, C W, Longley, T, The Lincolnshire Domesday and the Lincolnshire Survey, (1976)
Oldfield, E, Wainfleet and the wapentake of Candleshoe, (1829)
Cambridge University Collection of Air Photos, AQC 26, (1966)
NMR, 355248, (1998)
NMR, 355251, (1998)
SMR, Li 42175, (1998)
Title: Welton le Marsh Inclosure award and plan, Lindsey Award 93 Source Date: 1795 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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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