Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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

Motte and bailey castle north of Chennells Brook Farm

A Scheduled Monument in North Horsham, West Sussex

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: 51.0863 / 51°5'10"N

Longitude: -0.3049 / 0°18'17"W

OS Eastings: 518821.383776

OS Northings: 133257.323619

OS Grid: TQ188332

Mapcode National: GBR HJ9.V1K

Mapcode Global: FRA B677.YWZ

Entry Name: Motte and bailey castle north of Chennells Brook Farm

Scheduled Date: 1 March 1968

Last Amended: 30 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014389

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12885

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: North Horsham

Built-Up Area: Horsham

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Roffey All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes the earthworks of a motte and bailey castle dating
from the Norman period. The castle features a central mound, or motte, which
has been raised up to 2.2m above the level of the surrounding land to form
an originally circular summit which would usually have been the site of a
wooden keep. Around the motte was dug a broad moat averaging 10m across, the
western and southern arms of which are occupied by the present Chennells
Brook, the eastern side surviving as a marked dry ditch.
West of the motte is the bailey area, a quadrangular courtyard 75m long by
25m-55m wide, which is again defended by an outer ditch, in this case some 7m
wide. The whole area would originally have been surrounded by water
channelled from the stream. On the south side of the bailey ditch is a
causeway which may represent the original entrance to the castle.
In addition to these earthworks, the former stream channel, which was
altered when the castle was constructed, survives on the northern, western
and southern sides. The former stream was incorporated into the castle
design by creating a marshy area for additional defence. The castle was
approached by a causeway from the dry ground to the south.
The present course of the Chennells Brook dates from after the castle's
abandonment and crosses the earthworks in several places, including the
approach causeway at the southern edge of the castle area. The motte has
also been altered to its present kidney-shaped summit as a result of erosion
by the stream.
All fences in the area of the monument are excluded from scheduling, allthough
the ground beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 castle near Chennells Brook Farm survives well despite some alteration
of its form by changes in the course of the Chennells Brook after the
castle's abandonment. It retains considerable potential for the recovery of
evidence for the nature and date of occupation of the castle both from the
motte and bailey areas and from the moats. The castle remains exemplify the
diversity of form of this class of monument and the adaptability of such
castles to suit a range of locations in the landscape rather than just

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Braun, H, An Early Norman Castle Site In North Sussex, (1936)
County Monument No. 3632,

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.