Ancient Monuments

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Motte and bailey castle 80m south east of Hockleton Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Chirbury with Brompton, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.5925 / 52°35'32"N

Longitude: -3.0724 / 3°4'20"W

OS Eastings: 327450.635136

OS Northings: 299950.905103

OS Grid: SO274999

Mapcode National: GBR B3.9N8P

Mapcode Global: WH7B3.S34C

Entry Name: Motte and bailey castle 80m south east of Hockleton Farm

Scheduled Date: 25 September 1969

Last Amended: 22 November 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013490

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19227

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 motte and bailey castle situated on
the north end of a ridge on the west bank of a steep sided gorge through which
the River Camlad flows, north of Chirbury. The castle was sited to control
a river crossing some 200m north of the castle. It includes a well defined
castle mound, or motte, circular in plan with a base diameter of 25m rising 4m
to a flat summit 6m in diameter. Attached to the north side of the motte are
the remains of a roughly triangular bailey enclosure, within which the
domestic buildings associated with the castle would have been protected. It
has maximum internal dimensions of 40m east to west by 30m north to south and
is bounded around its west, north and east sides by a scarp averaging 2m high
which curves inwards in the south, towards the motte, which here forms the
south side of the enclosure. The bailey scarp is interrupted at its northern
corner by an original entrance gap 6m wide. Although no longer visible as a
surface feature an outer ditch with an estimated width of 4m will surround the
exterior of the motte and bailey.

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 and bailey 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-bailey 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 and
bailey 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 or motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally,
with examples known from most regions. 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 and bailey castle south east of Hockleton Farm survives well and is
a good example of its class. It will retain valuable archaeological
information relating to its construction, date and the character of its
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 fill of the buried ditches. Such motte and bailey castles when
considered either as single sites or as a part of the wider medieval landscape
contribute valuable information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and
social organisation of the countryside during the medieval period. The
proximity of the bridge to the north of the castle, at a possible early
fording place, is of additional interest as the castle was probably built to
control the river crossing.

Source: Historic England

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