Ancient Monuments

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Motte in Hall Field

A Scheduled Monument in Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire

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Latitude: 52.544 / 52°32'38"N

Longitude: -0.9976 / 0°59'51"W

OS Eastings: 468074.846659

OS Northings: 294487.302483

OS Grid: SP680944

Mapcode National: GBR 9Q4.DM6

Mapcode Global: VHDQK.NBG3

Entry Name: Motte in Hall Field

Scheduled Date: 10 December 1951

Last Amended: 16 November 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012568

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17046

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Kibworth Harcourt

Built-Up Area: Kibworth Harcourt

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Kibworth Beauchamp

Church of England Diocese: Leicester


The motte at Kibworth Harcourt is situated within the village, 40m east of the
main Leicester Road.
The monument comprises a flat-topped, irregularly shaped mound surrounded by a
ditch. The mound measures approximately 35m in its largest dimension and up
to 4m high from the bottom of the surrounding ditch. The top is an
irregularly shaped area measuring a maximum of 22m. A dry ditch up to 2m deep
and 8m wide surrounds the mound with the exception of the north side where it
has been partly filled. An entrance causeway 6m wide is situated on the
south-west side.
Two large depressions on the north and south sides of the mound are the result
of 19th-century excavations. Some stonework within the mound was recorded at
the time of these investigations.

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 at Kibworth Harcourt survives in good condition and, apart from some
small-scale excavation, the mound is essentially undisturbed and has
considerable potential for the survival of archaeological evidence.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Gents Magazine' in Gents Magazine - Untitled , , Vol. 7 pt1, (1837), 641
Cantor, L, 'Transactions of the Leicestershire Arch and Historical Society' in The Medieval Castles of Leicestershire (Volume 53), , Vol. 53, (1978), 38
Trollope, , 'Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological Society' in Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological Society - Untitled, , Vol. 2, (1869), 244-5
(1956) (ref: 69SE.AP), (1956)

Source: Historic England

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