Ancient Monuments

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Cusworth Motte Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Sprotbrough and Cusworth, Doncaster

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Latitude: 53.524 / 53°31'26"N

Longitude: -1.1841 / 1°11'2"W

OS Eastings: 454186.010183

OS Northings: 403342.436221

OS Grid: SE541033

Mapcode National: GBR NW5P.FH

Mapcode Global: WHDD1.SPBB

Entry Name: Cusworth Motte Castle

Scheduled Date: 27 June 1962

Last Amended: 8 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010767

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13253

County: Doncaster

Civil Parish: Sprotbrough and Cusworth

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Sprotbrough St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


Cusworth motte castle lies in woodland adjacent the A1(M) at what was
once the south-west edge of Cusworth Park. It comprises an oval motte,
20m wide west-east and 23.5m wide north-south. The motte stands c.5m
above a dry ditch, c.2m deep and c.6m wide and partially filled in to
the east. The castle was built in the eleventh century by either William
de Warenne or Roger de Busli, both of whom were granted lands at
Cusworth by William the Conqueror. In the later middle ages it was part
of the Honour of Conisbrough, held by the de Warennes. In the eighteenth
century, or some time earlier, the site was superseded by that of
Cusworth Hall, 700m to the north-east.

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 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.

Cusworth motte castle is a particularly important example owing to its
good state of survival and the preservation of extensive archaeological

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Yorkshire: Volume II, (1912), 23
Coates, B E , The Work of Richard Woods Landscape Gardener in the West Riding of Yorkshire, (1963), 300
Magilton, J, The Doncaster District, (1977), 29-30

Source: Historic England

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