Ancient Monuments

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Motte castle 100m south west of Lady House Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Worthen with Shelve, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.614 / 52°36'50"N

Longitude: -2.9698 / 2°58'11"W

OS Eastings: 334430.357165

OS Northings: 302247.052688

OS Grid: SJ344022

Mapcode National: GBR B7.8HHF

Mapcode Global: WH8C3.CK1C

Entry Name: Motte castle 100m south west of Lady House Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 February 1953

Last Amended: 26 July 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012852

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19184

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Worthen with Shelve

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Hope

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the remains of a small motte castle situated on ground
falling gently to the north, overlooking the valley of the Rea Brook. It
includes a mound of earth and stone rubble construction 23m in diameter at
base rising 3.5m to a flattened summit 8m in diameter. A shallow ditch
averaging 3m wide and 0.4m deep, from which material would have been quarried
for the construction of the mound, remains visible as a surface feature around
the south, west and north sides of the motte. This will exist as a buried
feature of similar proportions around the remaining east side of the motte.
A post and wire fence surrounding the monument and the surface of the trackway
crossing the southern quarter of the ditch are excluded from the scheduling
although the ground beneath 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 castle south west of Lady House Farm survives well and is a good
example of its class. It will retain archaeological information relating to
its construction and occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the
landscape in which it was constructed will survive sealed on the old land
surface beneath the motte and in the ditch fill. Such motte castles, when
considered as a single site or as a part of a broader medieval landscape,
contribute valuable information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and
social structure of the countryside during the medieval period.

Source: Historic England

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