Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Castle Howe motte and bailey castle

A Scheduled Monument in Tebay, Cumbria

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 54.4398 / 54°26'23"N

Longitude: -2.5973 / 2°35'50"W

OS Eastings: 361355.564563

OS Northings: 505094.286148

OS Grid: NY613050

Mapcode National: GBR BK93.H7

Mapcode Global: WH93J.2NGR

Entry Name: Castle Howe motte and bailey castle

Scheduled Date: 29 January 1964

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007130

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 367

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Tebay

Built-Up Area: Tebay

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Orton with Tebay All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the remains of a medieval motte and bailey castle situated on the southern bank of the River Lune nearly opposite the confluence with Birk Beck. The monument survives as a large circular mound (motte) with an additional irregular shaped enclosure (the bailey) to the south defined by a rampart and ditch. The motte stands up to 3.5m high above the bailey and between the motte and the bailey there is a semi-circular ditch with a section of rampart preserved on the south side. Further earthworks of the bailey survive to the south with evidence of exposed stone structures visible on the eastern side.

PastScape Monument No:- 13204
Cumbria HER:- 1946

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.
Castle Howe motte and bailey castle is highly representative of its period and although damaged by river erosion, is still preserved as an upstanding earthwork. The monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment. The monument provides insight into the character and development of fortifications in the medieval period.

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.