Ancient Monuments

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Motte and bailey castle immediately south west of The Moat

A Scheduled Monument in Bettws-y-Crwyn, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4166 / 52°24'59"N

Longitude: -3.1949 / 3°11'41"W

OS Eastings: 318828.815802

OS Northings: 280518.530915

OS Grid: SO188805

Mapcode National: GBR 9Y.NVFD

Mapcode Global: VH68R.KJV8

Entry Name: Motte and bailey castle immediately south west of The Moat

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1954

Last Amended: 14 March 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019011

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32325

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Bettws-y-Crwyn

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Bettws-y-Crwyn

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a motte and bailey
castle, situated on the northern side of the valley of the River Teme. It is
at the end of a spur of land defined on its north eastern flank by a steep
slope created by a stream which flows into the Teme. From this location there
are commanding views of the Teme valley and the surrounding uplands. The flat-
topped, steep-sided circular motte stands about 7m high and measures
approximately 32m across at its base and 12m across the top. It is encircled
by a ditch. The bailey, which measures approximately 24m by 28m internally, is
defined on its northern side by the steep slope formed by the stream. It is
bounded on its southern and eastern sides by a bank and an outer ditch, with a
counterscarp bank to the east. A 3m wide causeway into the bailey is situated
at the south western corner of the enclosure, between the motte ditch and the
bailey defences.
All fences are excluded from the scheduling, together with the telegraph pole,
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 south west of The Moat is a well-preserved example
of this class of monument. Extensive remains of the structures which stood on
the motte and within the bailey are expected to survive, and together with the
associated artefacts and organic remains will provide valuable evidence about
the activities and the lifestyle of its inhabitants. Organic remains surviving
under the motte, the bailey banks, and within the ditches, will also provide
information about the changes to the local environment and the use of the land
before and after the castle was constructed. The monument remains a prominent
feature within the landscape.

Source: Historic England

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