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Motte and bailey castle 240m east of Dean's Mill

A Scheduled Monument in Lindfield, West Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.0184 / 51°1'6"N

Longitude: -0.0678 / 0°4'4"W

OS Eastings: 535620.920754

OS Northings: 126107.074739

OS Grid: TQ356261

Mapcode National: GBR KN7.1P9

Mapcode Global: FRA B6RF.7DH

Entry Name: Motte and bailey castle 240m east of Dean's Mill

Scheduled Date: 19 December 1968

Last Amended: 4 December 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011776

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12865

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Lindfield

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Lindfield All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

Details

The monument includes the central mound, or motte, and surrounding
earthworks of a small castle dating from the Norman period situated on the
floodplain of the River Ouse.
The motte at the centre of the castle site measures some 40m north-
east/south-west by 30m north-west/south-east at the base, or 15-18m across
at the summit, and is raised only 1.5m above the level of the floodplain.
Its top is generally flat, although a depression at its northern edge
suggests some disturbance or subsidence of the deposits below.
The motte was surrounded by a broad moat up to 14m across which was joined
to the river through gaps in the outer earthworks on the south-west side and
the south corner. To the north-west of the motte is a crescent-shaped
courtyard area, or bailey, 45m long and up to 14m wide which is raised by
ca.1m above the floodplain.
The motte and its bailey were further defended by straight banks to both
east and west, each some 10m across and 1m high. On the western side, a
ditch outside the bank linked the streams to the north and south and hence
enclosed the castle entirely within moats. The line of the ditch has been
preserved in the form of a more recent drain.
The monument is bounded on the north, south and east by the inner banks of
the streams but to the west it includes the drain.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 3 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.

The example east of Dean's Mill survives well despite the limited disturbance
of the motte edge, and illustrates clearly the adaptability of this type of
castle to suit the local circumstances - in this case where a marshy area
provided a strong yet strategic location for the policing of traffic crossing
the Ouse. It also holds considerable archaeological potential for the
recovery of evidence of the nature and duration of occupation.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Painting in possession of owner,
SMR County Monument No. 3632,

Source: Historic England

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