Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Castle Toot motte castle, 450m WSW of Mawleytown Farm.

A Scheduled Monument in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 52.3816 / 52°22'53"N

Longitude: -2.4686 / 2°28'7"W

OS Eastings: 368197.506696

OS Northings: 276058.651387

OS Grid: SO681760

Mapcode National: GBR BX.R0Z0

Mapcode Global: VH848.5D9L

Entry Name: Castle Toot motte castle, 450m WSW of Mawleytown Farm.

Scheduled Date: 31 May 1951

Last Amended: 31 July 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012868

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19202

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Cleobury Mortimer

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Cleobury Mortimer

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes Castle Toot, a motte castle situated on a small
promontory on the east bank of the River Rea. The position has been chosen to
overlook and control a crossing point on the River Rea and uses the natural
defensive strength of the topography to maximum strategic effect. Around the
west, south and east sides of the promontory the natural hillslope has been
cut back to form a steep scarp up to 5m high. At the foot of the scarp around
the south, east and north east sides is a ditch averaging 4m wide and 2m deep;
the spoil from the ditch has been thrown outwards to form a low outer bank
0.5m high. Both the scarp and ditch terminate in the north west and south west
on the precipitous valley side which forms the north west side of the
defences. The original entrance appears to have been in the north east quarter
of the castle where a causeway crosses the ditch and passes through a simple
entrance gap in the perimeter scarp. Fragments of walling and the remains of a
gatehouse were visible in this area at the end of the 18th century and in 1911
stones forming the base of a causeway or bridge were observed. Today none of
the original stonework remains visible though slight surface irregularities in
the vicinity suggest that buried foundations remain close to the surface.
A substantial house was built in the centre of the castle in the 1950s.
This house, all standing buildings and structures, boundary features and
metalled surfaces are excluded from the scheduling though the ground beneath
each is included. A septic tank in the north west quarter of the interior is
totally excluded from the scheduling.

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.

Castle Toot motte castle survives well and is a good example of its class. The
castle earthworks survive largely intact, incorporated into the landscaped
gardens of the house, and will contain stratified archaeological information
concerning their age and method of construction. The foundations of the
original buildings which stood on the site will survive as buried features in
the interior of the castle. Evidence of walling associated with a gatehouse
and entrance causeway or bridge, sited in the north east quarter of the site,
will also survive as buried features. Archaeological evidence relating to the
occupation of the site will survive throughout the site. Environmental
evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed will
be preserved in the fill of the ditch and sealed on the old land surface
beneath the ramparts. The castle is positioned to control a crossing point of
the River Rea on the outskirts of the medieval settlement of Cleobury
Mortimer. As such it contributes valuable information relating to the
management of communications, settlement pattern, economy and social stucture
of this area of the countryside during the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Record no 1185,

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.