Ancient Monuments

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Castle Hill motte and bailey, Beaumont Chase

A Scheduled Monument in Uppingham, Rutland

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Latitude: 52.5955 / 52°35'43"N

Longitude: -0.7465 / 0°44'47"W

OS Eastings: 485004.633427

OS Northings: 300479.40841

OS Grid: SK850004

Mapcode National: GBR CSJ.B2L

Mapcode Global: WHFL1.H1R2

Entry Name: Castle Hill motte and bailey, Beaumont Chase

Scheduled Date: 13 February 1953

Last Amended: 10 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010925

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17011

County: Rutland

Civil Parish: Uppingham

Built-Up Area: Uppingham

Traditional County: Rutland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Rutland

Church of England Parish: Uppingham St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


Castle Hill, Beaumont Chase, stands at the end of a steeply sided natural
promontory. It consists of a large conical mound with a deep ditch separating
it from the bailey to the east.

The mound or motte is 8-10m tall from the base of the ditch and has a flat top
approximately 12m across. The motte ditch is semi-circular in shape and is
6-8m wide. There are signs of slight banks at the two ends before the ground
slopes away to the west. The outer bank of the bailey survives as a very low
earthwork some 50m to the east of the motte.

Beaumont Chase is identified as being a typical example of a post Conquest
motte and bailey site. The hill on which the motte and bailey was built is
mentioned in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 1046AD and referred to as Martin's Hoe.

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.

Castle Hill at Beaumont Chase provides a particularly well-preserved example
of a major defensive medieval earthwork on an important landmark mentioned in
the Anglo-Saxon Charter.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hart, CR, The Early Charters of Eastern England, (1966), 108-9
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of Rutland, (1983), 7

Source: Historic England

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