Ancient Monuments

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Motte castle at the south end of East Dudston hamlet

A Scheduled Monument in Chirbury with Brompton, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.5693 / 52°34'9"N

Longitude: -3.1159 / 3°6'57"W

OS Eastings: 324461.211872

OS Northings: 297412.923117

OS Grid: SO244974

Mapcode National: GBR B1.C9JM

Mapcode Global: WH7B3.3PH5

Entry Name: Motte castle at the south end of East Dudston hamlet

Scheduled Date: 19 November 1974

Last Amended: 20 November 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013489

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19228

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 on a low
rise of land approximately 1km east of the Welsh border. It includes a well
defined castle mound, or motte, roughly oval in plan with dimensions at base
of 28m north west to south east by 20m transversely and standing up to 2.5m
high. The summit of the motte is slightly rounded in profile and measures 8m
by 6m. Around the south side of the motte there are the remains of a partly
water-filled ditch averaging 4m wide with a counter-scarp, outer bank 0.9m
high. Both the ditch and the bank would have originally continued around the
remaining sides of the mound but the foundation excavations for farmbuildings
and a roadway will have removed any archaeological evidence for either the
bank or ditch on the west, north and east sides of the motte.
All fencing within the area of the scheduling is excluded from the scheduling
although the ground beneath is included.

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.

Although the motte castle at the south end of East Dudston hamlet has been
disturbed on its western and northern sides it will retain archaeological
information relating to its construction and to the character of its
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 sediments of the surviving portion of the surrounding ditch.
Such motte castles, when considered either as single sites or as 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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