Ancient Monuments

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Toot Hill motte and bailey castle

A Scheduled Monument in Withern with Stain, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.3071 / 53°18'25"N

Longitude: 0.1288 / 0°7'43"E

OS Eastings: 541938.892589

OS Northings: 381023.750072

OS Grid: TF419810

Mapcode National: GBR YZB6.P6

Mapcode Global: WHJLC.Y4HH

Entry Name: Toot Hill motte and bailey castle

Scheduled Date: 4 October 1932

Last Amended: 22 January 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016782

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31628

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Withern with Stain

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Strubby Wold Marsh St Oswald

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the medieval motte
and bailey castle, known as Toot Hill, which is enclosed by ditches and banks
on low lying ground adjacent to the Great Eau. The land at Tothill was part of
the land of Greetham which belonged to the Norman earls of Chester. The site
dates to the 11th or 12th century, representing either a fortification dating
to the immediate post-Conquest period or to the civil war during King
Stephen's reign. In the post-medieval period a house was constructed within
the bailey; this house, which is called Tothill Manor, is a Listed Building
Grade II and is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it
is included.

The motte is a roughly circular mound 8m high with a flat top which measures
approximately 70m in diameter. To the west and bounded by ditches was the
bailey where domestic buildings would have been located. A second low bank and
ditch curve round the northern and eastern side of the motte and bailey. On
the southern and western side a series of dry parallel `V'-shaped ditches
provides further defences. These ditches measure 14m in width. The inner ditch
enclosing the western part of the bailey continues to the north west to form a
funnel entrance into the bailey.

A raised rectangular platform, measuring approximately 15m by 10m, lies
between the parallel ditches on the southern side of the motte and is thought
to represent the remains of a building platform. The present Tothill Manor is
situated in the western part of the bailey.

All standing buildings, fences, boundary walls, animal pens, and telegraph
poles are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is

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.

Toot Hill motte and bailey castle survives well as a series of earthwork and
buried deposits. The artifically raised ground will preserve evidence of the
land use prior to the construction of the motte. As one of two motte and
bailey castles lying within a small area it contributes to an understanding of
the inter-relationship of contemporary components of the medieval landscape.
Its reuse in the post-medieval period demonstrates its continuing importance
as a landscape feature.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Foster, C W, Longley, T, 'Lincoln Record Society Publications' in Lincolnshire Domesday and the Lindsey Survey, (1924)
Owen, A E B, 'Lincolnshire History and Archaeology' in Castle Carlton: The Origins Of A Medieval New Town, , Vol. 27, (1992), 17-22
NMR, 355689, (1998)

Source: Historic England

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