Ancient Monuments

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Motte and bailey castle adjacent to River Trent

A Scheduled Monument in East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 52.9835 / 52°59'0"N

Longitude: -0.9786 / 0°58'43"W

OS Eastings: 468668.688468

OS Northings: 343389.579722

OS Grid: SK686433

Mapcode National: GBR 9JQ.ZB1

Mapcode Global: WHFHZ.Y85N

Entry Name: Motte and bailey castle adjacent to River Trent

Scheduled Date: 9 February 1954

Last Amended: 25 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008568

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23212

County: Nottinghamshire

Civil Parish: East Bridgford

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: East Bridgford

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham


The monument at East Bridgford consists of the remains of an eleventh or
twelfth century motte and bailey castle. These include an elliptical motte
or castle mound measuring 30m from east to west by 10m from north to south and
standing c.5m high. This is surrounded by a ditch measuring up to 2m deep and
averaging between 10m and 15m wide. South of the motte, this ditch extends
southwards to west and east to partially enclose a small oval bailey measuring
40m x 30m. A break in the ditch on the south side is interpreted as the
original entrance into this bailey. Early descriptions of the monument
mention a ridge which formerly joined up with the bailey. This suggests that
there was originally a second bailey, probably to the west. However, the
extent and survival of this feature is not sufficiently understood for it to
be included in the scheduling.

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.

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.

The castle at East Bridgford is a good example of a small motte and bailey
built to command the valley of the River Trent at one of its crossing points.
The remains of both the castle keep and its ancillary buildings will survive
within the monument.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Nottinghamshire: Volume II, (1910), 17
'Transactions of the Thoroton Society' in Transactions of the Thoroton Society: Volume 59, , Vol. 59, (1955), 98-99

Source: Historic England

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