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Motte castle 250m west of Yockleton Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Westbury, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.6867 / 52°41'11"N

Longitude: -2.8938 / 2°53'37"W

OS Eastings: 339675.151837

OS Northings: 310259.63858

OS Grid: SJ396102

Mapcode National: GBR BB.3XXM

Mapcode Global: WH8BR.JQ6Q

Entry Name: Motte castle 250m west of Yockleton Hall

Scheduled Date: 27 June 1969

Last Amended: 22 November 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013491

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19226

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Westbury

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Yockleton

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

Details

The monument includes the remains of a motte castle situated on the eastern
tip of a low spur overlooking, to the east and south, the valley of a small
stream. It includes a substantial castle mound, or motte, oval in plan with
base dimensions of 44m north east to south west by 30m north west to
south east. The summit of the motte stands 3m high and measures 24m along its
axis and 14m wide. The motte is constructed on the tip of the spur to make
maximum defensive use of the topography. The natural approach to the castle
would be along the ridge top, and so around the west side a substantial ditch
up to 8m wide and 2m deep has been cut across the neck of the ridge to
separate the motte from the rising ground to the west. Although no longer
visible as a surface feature a ditch will also be preserved as a buried
feature around the remaining sides of the motte. A concave hollow cut into the
southern quarter of the mound appears to be the result of later activity. No
bailey associated with the motte has yet been traced.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

The motte castle west of Yockleton Hall survives well and is a good example of
its class. It will retain archaeological information relating to its
construction, age and to the character of its occupation. Environmental
evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed will
be preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath the motte and in the ditch
fill. Such motte castles, when considered either as a single site or as a 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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