Ancient Monuments

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Motte south-west of Morley House Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Morley, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 52.9649 / 52°57'53"N

Longitude: -1.418 / 1°25'4"W

OS Eastings: 439185.888868

OS Northings: 340998.38782

OS Grid: SK391409

Mapcode National: GBR 6DK.2BJ

Mapcode Global: WHDGN.6Q0W

Entry Name: Motte south-west of Morley House Farm

Scheduled Date: 25 August 1938

Last Amended: 17 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011447

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23301

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Morley

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Morley St Matthew

Church of England Diocese: Derby


This monument, known locally as The Mound, is a medieval motte and includes a
flat-topped conical mound surrounded by a 6-9m wide waterfilled ditch which is
crossed by a causeway on the south-east side. The motte is 15m wide at its
base and c.4m high and very steep-sided. A timber tower or keep would
originally have stood on the motte whose top is c.5m wide. Formerly there may
also have been an attached bailey or outer enclosure which would have
contained ancillary buildings and pens for cattle and horses. There is no
visible trace of such a feature in the ploughed fields surrounding the
monument and so this area has not been included in the scheduling.
The surface of the adjacent farm track is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground underneath is included.

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.

Although the motte south-west of Morley House Farm has been disturbed by
scrub, the monument survives well and is sufficiently intact for
archaeological remains relating to the structure of the motte and the
associated keep to be preserved. In addition, well preserved organic and
environmental remains will survive in the waterfilled ditch.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Derby: Volume I, (1905)
Craven, D. and Drage, C., Moated Sites List, 1982, SMR

Source: Historic England

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