Ancient Monuments

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Hope Motte

A Scheduled Monument in Hope, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3475 / 53°20'50"N

Longitude: -1.7438 / 1°44'37"W

OS Eastings: 417150.706267

OS Northings: 383429.796907

OS Grid: SK171834

Mapcode National: GBR JY8Q.8Q

Mapcode Global: WHCCM.54W2

Entry Name: Hope Motte

Scheduled Date: 29 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017661

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29812

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Hope

Built-Up Area: Hope

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Hope St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes the mound and ditch of Hope Motte, an earthwork situated
on a natural spur overlooking the Peakshole Water in the village of Hope. To
the north east of the mound stands the parish church. The mound is likely to
date to the early Norman period or possibly to the late Anglo-Saxon period.
Over time, the Peakshole Water has eroded the base of the mound causing
general slippage of part of the earthwork.
From the north, the mound is approximately 4.5m high but from the south the
earthwork rises to about 11m above the river, due to the landslope. The mound
has become truncated on its southern side due to river erosion, forming a
crescent shaped earthwork. The mound has overall dimensions of approximately
45m by 28m. The riverine erosion has exposed part of the interior of the
mound and shows that it is composed of earth and shale of local origin. The
mound is typical of other motte earthworks in the region, being conical
with a flat top. To the north and west of the mound is a shallow ditch about
7m wide and up to 1.5m deep. It is likely that the ditch was originally much
deeper but has become infilled with material gradually eroded from the mound.
Due to river erosion, it is not possible to say whether there was ever a ditch
around the southern edge of the mound. To the immediate east of the earthwork
stands a private dwelling, the garden and yard of which have obscured any
evidence for a ditch on this side. There is no evidence for an outer bailey
associated with the mound. However, more recent buildings, roads and yards may
have obscured such evidence.
To the east of the mound stands the church of St Peter's, a pre-Conquest
foundation with a tenth century cross shaft in the churchyard, a reminder that
Hope was an important centre during the Anglo-Saxon period. Indeed, it is
possible that the earthwork could date to the later Anglo-Saxon period. Such
earthworks are known to have been built at important locations during this
period and sometimes they also functioned as administrative meeting places,
known as `moots'. However, it is thought likely that Hope Motte was erected
during the 11th century as one of a series of similar strongpoints built in
Britain by the Normans. The Norman military focus was later transferred to
Peveril Castle at Castleton, 2km to the west. A castle was mentioned at Hope
during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307) and may well refer to these
Excluded from the scheduling are all stone walls, gates, fences and posts,
buildings, yards and roadways, although the ground beneath all of these
features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 7 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 monument is important because it is representative of a short-lived phase
of a specific type of monument built during the late Anglo-Saxon or early
Norman periods. This particular example is located at the site of an important
pre-Norman estate and is therefore important to our understanding of the
early medieval Peak District.
Although partly eroded, much of the monument survives in good condition,
including the survival of an outer ditch which is likely to contain buried
archaeological evidence. It is also possible that the base of the ditch fill
is waterlogged and, as such, could also contain valuable environmental

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hart, CR, North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500, (1981), 145-6
No. 8111, Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire County SMR, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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