Motte castle adjacent to Oaklands Hall, Chirk Bank

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019299

Date first listed: 18-Jul-2000

Map

Ordnance survey map of Motte castle adjacent to Oaklands Hall, Chirk Bank
© 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.
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2018 at 03:27:37.

Location

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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Weston Rhyn

National Grid Reference: SJ 29030 37026

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 adjacent to Oaklands Hall is a well-preserved example of this class of monument, despite some later modification to its northern side. The mound will retain buried evidence relating to the nature of the occupation and the structures that were built upon it. Organic remains preserved within the buried ground surface under the mound 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 association with the motte castle on the opposite side of the valley at Chirk.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a motte castle built on an east to north east facing slope and occupying a commanding position at the top of the southern side of the Ceiriog valley. The River Ceiriog is the ancient border between England and Wales. On the opposite side of the valley, 550m to the north, there is another motte castle which is the subject of a separate scheduling. These castles appear to have been sited to give a clear view of each other in order to control the movement of people crossing the border and passing along the river valley. The flat-topped, steep sided oval mound is constructed of earth and stone. It measures approximately 26m by 40m at its base, 10m by 26m across the top, and varies in height from 1.3m at the west to 3m at the east. A terraced path has been cut into the northern side of the mound. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, surrounds the mound. This has become infilled over the years and survives as a buried feature, approximately 5m wide. The garage and the concrete plinth on which it stands, the driveway and the telegraph poles 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 33814

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing