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Motte castle, 110m north west of St Mary's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Halford, Warwickshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.1089 / 52°6'31"N

Longitude: -1.6248 / 1°37'29"W

OS Eastings: 425791.854169

OS Northings: 245679.623921

OS Grid: SP257456

Mapcode National: GBR 5P6.Q22

Mapcode Global: VHBYF.S8D6

Entry Name: Motte castle, 110m north west of St Mary's Church

Scheduled Date: 9 January 1973

Last Amended: 16 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017767

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21668

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Halford

Built-Up Area: Halford

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Halford

Church of England Diocese: Coventry

Details

The monument is situated adjacent to the River Stour on the western outskirts
of the village of Halford and includes the earthworks and buried remains of a
motte castle.
The flat-topped mound has a diameter of approximately 28m at its base and
stands some 4m high. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch, from
which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, surrounds
the mound on all but the western side where the river serves as a natural
boundary. The ditch has become infilled over the years but will survive as a
buried feature approximately 5m wide and is included in the scheduling.
There are references to a castle at Halford in an early 14th century Subsidy
Roll and the motte castle is believed to be the predecessor to the present
manor house situated some 260m to the north east.
All fenceposts and the surface of the tennis court are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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 at Halford survives well and is relatively undisturbed by
later activities. Buried archaeological deposits relating to both the
construction of the castle and the activities of its inhabitants will survive
within the infilled ditch and the mound itself providing valuable information
on the wealth and status of the motte castle.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Chatwin, P B, 'Transactions of the Birmingham Archaeologiacl Society' in Castles in Warwickshire, , Vol. 67, (1947), 32

Source: Historic England

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