Ancient Monuments

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Motte castle 100m north of Wotherton Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Chirbury with Brompton, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.5991 / 52°35'56"N

Longitude: -3.0595 / 3°3'34"W

OS Eastings: 328337.375439

OS Northings: 300675.716755

OS Grid: SJ283006

Mapcode National: GBR B3.9CFZ

Mapcode Global: WH79X.ZX8T

Entry Name: Motte castle 100m north of Wotherton Hall

Scheduled Date: 27 June 1969

Last Amended: 26 July 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012863

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19196

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Chirbury with Brompton

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Chirbury

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the remains of a small motte castle situated towards the
foot of a north west facing slope in the bend of a small stream to the north
of the village of Wotherton. It includes an earthen mound or motte, circular
in plan with a base diameter of 21m rising to a flat summit 10m in diameter
and standing 1.2m above the surrounding ground surface. A ditch up to 4m wide
and 0.4m deep is visible around all sides but the north west, where the stream
valley drops steeply away from 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 Wotherton 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 period and nature of its
occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was
constructed will survive on the old land surface sealed beneath the motte and
in the ditch fill. Such motte castles provide valuable information concerning
the settlement pattern and social organisation of the countryside during the
medieval period. Wotherton motte is one of a series of such castles positioned
along the main valley pass between Shrewsbury and Montgomery. Considered
together they contribute valuable information concerning the management of
this important routeway.

Source: Historic England

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