Ancient Monuments

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Motte castle at Colebatch, 100m north of Lagden

A Scheduled Monument in Colebatch, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4775 / 52°28'39"N

Longitude: -3.0025 / 3°0'9"W

OS Eastings: 332007.236262

OS Northings: 287095.025696

OS Grid: SO320870

Mapcode National: GBR B6.K1GB

Mapcode Global: VH75X.XZ1L

Entry Name: Motte castle at Colebatch, 100m north of Lagden

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1954

Last Amended: 19 May 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012854

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19186

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Colebatch

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Bishop's Castle

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the remains of a small motte castle situated in the
valley bottom on the west side of a tributary of the River Kemp in the village
of Colebatch. It includes a well defined steep sided mound with a base
diameter of 22m rising 5.5m high to a rounded summit with a diameter of 5m.
The surrounding ditch, from which material would have been quarried for the
construction of the mound, has been almost completely filled in but remains
visible as a slight surface depression up to 2.5m wide around the south west
quarter of the motte and will be preserved as a buried feature of similar
proportions around the remaining sides of the motte.

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 at Colebatch survives well and is a good example of its
class. It will retain archaeological material relating to its construction and
occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was
constructed will be preserved 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 part of a broader medieval landscape, provide valuable information
concerning the settlement pattern, economy and social stucture of the
countryside during the medieval period.

Source: Historic England

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