Ancient Monuments

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Pulford motte and bailey castle

A Scheduled Monument in Poulton and Pulford, Cheshire West and Chester

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Latitude: 53.1218 / 53°7'18"N

Longitude: -2.9351 / 2°56'6"W

OS Eastings: 337517.15933

OS Northings: 358701.105801

OS Grid: SJ375587

Mapcode National: GBR 78.77K9

Mapcode Global: WH88L.WSHM

Entry Name: Pulford motte and bailey castle

Scheduled Date: 29 December 1952

Last Amended: 19 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012078

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13419

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Poulton and Pulford

Built-Up Area: Pulford

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Eccleston St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument at Pulford comprises the remains of a motte and bailey
castle situated an the N bank of Pulford Brook immmediately SW of St
Mary's churchyard.
The motte lies towards the S side of the monument and is surrounded by a
shallow ditch 5-6m wide on all sides except the S where defence was
afforded by the stream. Traces of an outer bank exist to the SE of the
motte while defence on the SW was provided by a substantial bank
constructed between the stream and the bailey. The bailey lies to the
NW of the motte covering much of the area between the B5102 and the
churchyard. The bailey bank exists at the N and W but evidence of the
surrounding ditch has been obliterated by the road and churchyard apart
from faint traces at the NW corner of the site.
Pulford Castle was known to be in existence c.1245 when the Ormesbee
family granted their share of the manor and castle to the Pulford
All fences and hedges are excluded from the scheduling, however, the
ground beneath them is included. A telegraph pole at the NE extremity
of the monument is also excluded from the scheduling.

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.

The motte and bailey castle at Pulford survives well, the earthworks
being particularly evident. The lack of subsequent occupation on the
site means that buried structural remains and environmental evidence are
likely to be well-preserved.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Cathcart-King, D J, Castellarium Anglicanum, (1983), 68
Ormerod, G, 'History of Cheshire' in History of Cheshire, , Vol. 3, (1882), V2-857
Capstick, B., FMW report, (1988)
Leach, P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Motte & Bailey Castles, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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