Ancient Monuments

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Castle mound

A Scheduled Monument in Laysters, Herefordshire,

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Latitude: 52.2654 / 52°15'55"N

Longitude: -2.634 / 2°38'2"W

OS Eastings: 356831.535813

OS Northings: 263211.68693

OS Grid: SO568632

Mapcode National: GBR BP.ZG7T

Mapcode Global: VH84R.9BD6

Entry Name: Castle mound

Scheduled Date: 22 July 1966

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005372

English Heritage Legacy ID: HE 166

County: Herefordshire,

Civil Parish: Laysters

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Leysters

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


Motte castle 170m south of Church House.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 28 May 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a motte castle situated on an east facing slope of a ridge overlooking the valleys of Church House Dingle, Sunny Bank Dingle and Hanging Grove which contain tributaries to the Cadmore Brook. The motte survives as a circular mound measuring up to 27m in diameter and standing from 2m up to 4m high surrounded by a ditch up to 9m wide and 1.1m deep. A late 19th century excavation on the eastern side found charcoal, ashes and rough stones but the excavators mistakenly believed this was a large barrow.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Despite some animal burrowing and scrub growth the motte castle 170m south of Church House survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, development, social, political, economic and strategic significance, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context

Source: Historic England


PastScape 110854, Herefordshire SMR 2522

Source: Historic England

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