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Motte castle 200m south-east of Wavendon Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Wavendon, Milton Keynes

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Latitude: 52.0251 / 52°1'30"N

Longitude: -0.6615 / 0°39'41"W

OS Eastings: 491932.705793

OS Northings: 237143.011703

OS Grid: SP919371

Mapcode National: GBR F1R.TW2

Mapcode Global: VHFQQ.HC4D

Entry Name: Motte castle 200m south-east of Wavendon Manor

Scheduled Date: 6 July 1933

Last Amended: 4 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011301

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19082

County: Milton Keynes

Civil Parish: Wavendon

Built-Up Area: Woburn Sands

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Walton, Milton Keynes

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a small well defined motte castle situated on the flat
top of a low hill. The motte is slightly oval, orientated north-west to
south-east with dimensions of 26m by 22m. It rises to a flat summit at 3.4m
with the sides of the mound eroded to give a terraced appearance. Surrounding
the motte is a shallow dry ditch 5m wide and 0.9m deep, from which material
was quarried during the construction of the mound. The ditch is continuous
around all but the south-east quarter where it is crossed by a causewayed ramp
which rises to the mound summit. Partial excavation of the site in 1963
revealed no evidence of any building on the summit of the mound with finds of
pottery limited to the 13th century. The site is therefore believed to have
been occupied for a short duration only and possibly represents an adulterine
castle site built during the reign of Stephen.
The modern structures built on the mound, including those associated with
golf, are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is

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 south-east of Wavendon Manor is well preserved and a good example of
its class. Archaeological material survives in the mound and environmental
evidence, relating to the surrounding landscape at the time of the mound's
construction, survives sealed beneath the mound and in the ditch fills.

Source: Historic England


Ref card no 0685, Griffiths. R W,
Ref card no 0685, Mynard, D C,

Source: Historic England

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