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Castle Mound motte and bailey, Melling

A Scheduled Monument in Melling-with-Wrayton, Lancashire

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Latitude: 54.1348 / 54°8'5"N

Longitude: -2.6157 / 2°36'56"W

OS Eastings: 359867.168397

OS Northings: 471164.482048

OS Grid: SD598711

Mapcode National: GBR BN5M.HK

Mapcode Global: WH951.SBMK

Entry Name: Castle Mound motte and bailey, Melling

Scheduled Date: 4 March 1953

Last Amended: 4 January 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012456

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13412

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Melling-with-Wrayton

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Tunstall St John the Baptist and Melling St Wilfred and Leck St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn


The monument at Melling consists of a conical motte with a truncated top
situated on a raised knoll 22m above the River Lune floodplain. An
adjoining bailey, partly obliterated by Melling church and churchyard,
exists in the field to the SW.
The monument lies in the garden of the former Melling vicarage and
extends for a short distance into a field to the SW. The motte has been
landscaped to include a terrace, retaining wall and flight of stone
Field boundaries and the churchyard wall are excluded from the
scheduling, however, the ground beneath all these features 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.

The motte and bailey castle at Melling is of particular importance as
one of a group of early post-conquest (late 11th century) mottes
established along the Lune valley. These sites were all of strategic
importance, allowing control of movement along the river valley. More
importantly, however, was their role in imposing and demonstrating the
new post-conquest feudal order on the area.
Its earthworks survive well and the lack of subsequent occupation on the
site means buried structural remains and environmental evidence are
likely to survive well.

Source: Historic England


Lancs SMR PRN 632,
Leach, P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Motte & Bailey Castles, (1988)
Leach, P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Motte & Bailey Castles, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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