Ancient Monuments

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Sibbertoft motte and bailey castle.

A Scheduled Monument in Sibbertoft, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.4421 / 52°26'31"N

Longitude: -0.9856 / 0°59'8"W

OS Eastings: 469046.002399

OS Northings: 283165.710571

OS Grid: SP690831

Mapcode National: GBR 9R9.X70

Mapcode Global: VHDQY.VWS8

Entry Name: Sibbertoft motte and bailey castle.

Scheduled Date: 8 May 1956

Last Amended: 11 June 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010245

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13675

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Sibbertoft

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Sibbertoft St Helen

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The motte and bailey castle at Sibbertoft, known as Castle Yard, is situated
800m to the south of Marston Lodge farm and south of the dense woodland of
Marston and Sibbertoft woods.
Sibbertoft motte and bailey is located on the north spur of a natural hilltop,
and the round flat topped mound of the motte stands approximately 3m above
this hill. On its southern side the motte is bounded by a ditch 2.5m deep and
6m wide and on the northern side there is narrow ledge with a slight outer
bank about 0.25m high. Within the area of the top of the motte slight
depressions indicate the location of former buildings. The bailey lies to the
south and south east of the motte and covers an area about 100m x 50m. A
ditch 1m deep surrounds the bailey on the southern side and there is a slight
inner bank 0.5m high on the south, west and east sides of the bailey.
This motte and bailey is considered to have been constructed in the late 11th
century or early 12th century.
Outbuildings on the site are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground
beneath is included.

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.

Sibbertoft is a good example of a small motte and bailey castle which is
situated in an isolated position and is unusually remote from any known
medieval settlement. The earthworks of the site are largely undisturbed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological Sites in Northamptonshire170-2

Source: Historic England

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