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Castle Hill motte and bailey castle, Castle Carlton

A Scheduled Monument in Reston, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.331 / 53°19'51"N

Longitude: 0.0935 / 0°5'36"E

OS Eastings: 539513.325512

OS Northings: 383605.113569

OS Grid: TF395836

Mapcode National: GBR YY3X.1N

Mapcode Global: WHJL5.DJSR

Entry Name: Castle Hill motte and bailey castle, Castle Carlton

Scheduled Date: 28 April 1953

Last Amended: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016783

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31629

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Reston

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 remains of a motte and bailey castle at Castle Hill,
Castle Carlton. Castle Carlton lies between South Reston and Great Carlton
and was held by Ansgot of Burwell following the Norman Conquest and
subsequently by Ralph de la Haye, successor to Ansgot's title. By 1157
Hugh Bardolf had acquired Carlton from Ralph de la Haye. The property was
divided amongst the Bardolf family in the 13th century with Castle Carlton
passing by marriage to John Meriet in 1275 and remaining in the Meriot family
for another century. The motte and bailey castle dates from the 11th or 12th
century and is thought to have been built either as a post-Conquest
fortification of Ansgot or as a response to the turmoil of King Stephen's
reign by Ralph de la Haye, an active supporter of Stephen. The motte and
bailey castle was associated with the village of Castle Carlton, 350m to the
north east, believed to have been established in the mid-12th century
and now abandoned.

The castle takes the form of a motte and double bailey enclosed by ditches,
with external banks. The motte, which is located in the north eastern part of
a roughly circular ditched enclosure, is a circular mound, measuring 40m in
diameter and 8m high. It has steep sides and a flattened top, measuring
approximately 15m. The bailey, where domestic buildings would have been
located, occupies the southern and western part of the enclosure and is
surrounded by a steep sided ditch, measuring up to 12m in width which retains
water in places. The bailey is lined by internal banks along the southern and
western sides and is divided in two by a broad ditch, aligned east to west,
with access provided between the northern and southern portions of the bailey
at the western end of the ditch.

The motte, bailey, and a narrow strip of ground to the north and east of the
bailey are enclosed by a ditch measuring 8m to 12m in width with a narrow
funnel entrance, formed by the curve of the ditch, providing access to the
bailey on the southern side of the monument.

All fences and animal pens are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them 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 motte and bailey castle at Castle Hill survives well as a series of
earthwork and buried deposits. These remains will preserve evidence of the
form of the fortifications, and the artifically raised ground will preserve
evidence of land use prior to the construction of the motte. The association
of the motte and bailey castle with the abandoned village of Castle Carlton
contributes to an understanding of the inter-relationship of contemporary
components of the medieval landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Owen, A E B, 'Lincolnshire History and Archaeology' in Castle Carlton: The Origins Of A Medieval New Town, , Vol. 27, (1992), 17-22

Source: Historic England

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