Ancient Monuments

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Castle Cob motte

A Scheduled Monument in Manley, Cheshire West and Chester

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Latitude: 53.2557 / 53°15'20"N

Longitude: -2.7002 / 2°42'0"W

OS Eastings: 353384.970224

OS Northings: 373418.256538

OS Grid: SJ533734

Mapcode National: GBR 9ZLS.6M

Mapcode Global: WH884.HFFG

Entry Name: Castle Cob motte

Scheduled Date: 10 December 1973

Last Amended: 6 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011122

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22595

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Manley

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Delamere St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument is Castle Cob motte. It is located on the upper slopes of a hill
with commanding views to the east across the Weaver valley. The site includes
a steep-sided earthen mound 19m in diameter and up to 2.8m high. The flat top
of the motte measures approximately 6m in diameter. Limited antiquarian
investigation found the motte to be built of black soil.
A garden shed and a timber lean-to are excluded from the scheduling, as are a
garden wall, a path and gateposts around the base of the motte, and stone
steps and the concrete base of an old summer house on the side of the motte,
although the ground beneath all these features is included.

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.

Despite limited antiquarian investigation, Castle Cob motte survives
reasonably well. It is one of a group of early post-Conquest mottes and motte
and bailey castles forming a defensive system, the aim of which was to curb
raids on the rich farming areas of Cheshire. Equally important was the role
these sites played in imposing and demonstrating the new post-Conquest feudal
order on the area.

Source: Historic England


Grosvenor Museum Chester Arch Index Card,
Leach, P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Motte & Bailey Castles, (1988)
Ordnance Survey survey Card Ref No. SJ57SW1, Ordnance Survey, Castle Hill Cob,

Source: Historic England

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