Ancient Monuments

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Motte castle adjacent to The Mount cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Chirbury with Brompton, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.5972 / 52°35'50"N

Longitude: -3.0302 / 3°1'48"W

OS Eastings: 330318.642458

OS Northings: 300436.976266

OS Grid: SJ303004

Mapcode National: GBR B5.9DN4

Mapcode Global: WH8C2.FZ98

Entry Name: Motte castle adjacent to The Mount cottage

Scheduled Date: 27 June 1969

Last Amended: 19 May 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012862

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19195

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Chirbury with Brompton

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Middleton-in-Chirbury

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes a small motte castle situated on the northern edge of a
small steep sided valley. It includes an earthen mound up to 25m in diameter
and 2.5m high positioned on the precipitous edge of the valley to make maximum
defensive use of the natural topography, the natural slope forming the
south west side of the motte. The flat summit of the motte is circular in plan
with a diameter of 16m. A ditch 6m wide and 0.4m deep is visible around the
north east quarter of the motte. The ditch has been removed by the excavation
of a platform for the construction of a cottage and outbuildings around the
south east quarter and would never have existed around the west, where the
valley slopes provide sufficient defence.
The cottage and outbuildings which lie adjacent to the monument are not
included within the scheduling, their platform being cut through the ditch.

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 The Mount cottage survives well and is a good example of
its class. It will retain archaeological information relating to the materials
and techniques used in its construction and to the date and nature of its
occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the
monument was built will be preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath
the motte and in the ditch fill. Such motte castles provide valuable
information concerning the settlement pattern and social organisation of the
countryside. The Mount cottage motte is one of a series of small motte castles
strategically positioned to control re-entrant valleys on the south side of
the main valley pass between Shrewsbury and Montogmery. Considered as a group
they contribute important information concerning the management of this
important routeway between England and Wales during the medieval period.

Source: Historic England

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