Ancient Monuments

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Motte and bailey castle at Castle Green

A Scheduled Monument in Leigh, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.1654 / 52°9'55"N

Longitude: -2.3222 / 2°19'20"W

OS Eastings: 378054.618196

OS Northings: 251952.993453

OS Grid: SO780519

Mapcode National: GBR 0F2.7Q1

Mapcode Global: VH92R.PTPW

Entry Name: Motte and bailey castle at Castle Green

Scheduled Date: 1 July 1964

Last Amended: 23 February 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018010

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30023

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Leigh

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Leigh and Bransford

Church of England Diocese: Worcester


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the motte and bailey
castle at Castle Green. The motte is 4m to 5m high and 13m to 15m in diameter
around the top. It is surrounded by a ditch 1m to 2m wide and 1m deep, with a
counterscarp bank. To the south of the motte are the remains of another flat-
topped mound, rising 3m to 4m above ground level and measuring 40m in
diameter. The mound is partly surrounded by a ditch containing a water course
on the north and west and partly enclosed by a moat or ponds to the south and
west sides. The moat is thought to have been landscaped but continues to
reflect the form shown on earlier surveys. The area thus defined is believed
to be the inner bailey of the complex.
The monument is first identified in a document of 1346 although the form of
the earthworks suggest an earlier, Norman origin. The castle may be
identified with the manor of Castleleigh held by the Pembridge family from the
Abbots of Pershore in the 13th century.
The modern post and wire fencing and all modern surfaces and garden features
are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features
is included.

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.

The remains at Castle Green are important in preserving a small Norman motte
in good condition with little evidence of recent disturbance. The remains
will also preserve the internal composition of the mounds and evidence about
the accommodation provided on the motte and within the bailey. This will allow
consideration of the functions of high status and defensive settlements within
a frontier region during the early years of Norman colonisation. In addition,
the water-logged areas of the monument will preserve environmental deposits
which will provide insights into both the agricultural regime in the area
during the Norman period, and the occupation and diet of the occupants of the

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire: Castle Green Liegh Sinton, (1914)
Aston, M., Unpublished survey of the Motte at Catle Green, SMR records 1970's
Various SMR Officers, Unpublished notes concerning the Motte At Catle Green, SMR records 1960's to 1990's

Source: Historic England

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