Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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The Mount motte at Melton Mowbray

A Scheduled Monument in Melton Dorian, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.762 / 52°45'43"N

Longitude: -0.8932 / 0°53'35"W

OS Eastings: 474780.044931

OS Northings: 318840.57002

OS Grid: SK747188

Mapcode National: GBR BNW.WGH

Mapcode Global: WHFK0.7TXY

Entry Name: The Mount motte at Melton Mowbray

Scheduled Date: 10 December 1951

Last Amended: 27 November 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010666

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17023

County: Leicestershire

Electoral Ward/Division: Melton Dorian

Built-Up Area: Melton Mowbray

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Melton Mowbray Team

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


This medieval motte castle, known as "The Mount" at Mount Pleasant, is located
50m south of the main Leicester Road, at Melton Mowbray. It is separated from
the medieval town of Melton Mowbray by the river Eye.
The mount is a circular earthwork approximately 30m in diameter and 3m high
with a flat top 12m in diameter. There is no evidence of a surrounding ditch,
although it is considered likely that one would have existed.
A documentary reference to a motte at Melton, dated 1364, says it was granted
to the Hospital of St.Lazarus at Burton Lazars and refers to cutting down
trees on the mound. A reference in 1827 to a mill at Mount Pleasant suggests
a later use of the site.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

The motte castle is an unusual feature in the Leicestershire landscape, the
site at Melton Mowbray being one of only six known sites in the county. It is
well-preserved and as such retains potential for the survival of original
structures within the upper part of the mound.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of North-East Leicestershire, (1987), 11
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of, (1907), 275
Farnham, G F, Leicestershire Medieval Village Notes, 1930,

Source: Historic England

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