Ancient Monuments

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Turret Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Huntington, Herefordshire,

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.1736 / 52°10'25"N

Longitude: -3.0851 / 3°5'6"W

OS Eastings: 325890.630557

OS Northings: 253374.973582

OS Grid: SO258533

Mapcode National: GBR F2.5CC0

Mapcode Global: VH77F.GMWK

Entry Name: Turret Castle

Scheduled Date: 30 September 1935

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007314

English Heritage Legacy ID: HE 99

County: Herefordshire,

Civil Parish: Huntington

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Huntington

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

Summary

Motte and bailey castle 450m west of Lodge Farm.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 26 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 and bailey castle situated on a spur forming the south bank of a tributary to the River Arrow. The motte survives as a circular mound measuring up to 46m in diameter and 7.2m high with an oval flat top of approximately 25m by 22m all surrounded by a partially buried ditch. The bailey survives to the east and is irregular in plan because of the natural topography although it is up to a maximum of 104m long and 75m wide. The bailey is defined differentially by a rampart bank measuring up to 0.8m high with an associated ditch of up to 0.8m deep to the north west and east, whilst the northern and southern sides are denoted by scarps. Some sources suggest an entrance to the east indicates the rest of the natural spur was utilised as an outer bailey. Stretches of curtain wall are preserved as both buried and partly visible features. The castle is known by the alternative names of ‘Turret Castle’ or ‘Hellwood’. This castle is also thought to be the earliest precursor to Huntington Castle a similar monument nearby which is the subject of a separate scheduling.

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.

Despite tree and scrub growth and animal burrowing the motte and bailey castle 450m west of Lodge Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, political, social, economic and strategic significance, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape 105021, Hereford SMR 945

Source: Historic England

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