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Motte castle 220m north west of Higher Kempley Farm, Willaston

A Scheduled Monument in Ightfield, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.9189 / 52°55'7"N

Longitude: -2.6002 / 2°36'0"W

OS Eastings: 359737.333071

OS Northings: 335885.848931

OS Grid: SJ597358

Mapcode National: GBR 7P.N4X9

Mapcode Global: WH9BW.1W2P

Entry Name: Motte castle 220m north west of Higher Kempley Farm, Willaston

Scheduled Date: 6 January 1971

Last Amended: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019656

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33832

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Ightfield

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Calverhall (or Corra) Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a motte castle
occupying a commanding position on high ground in an area of gently undulating
land. It lies 130m south west of a medieval moated site, which is the subject
of a separate scheduling.
The circular flat-topped earthen motte is approximately 25m at its base, 15m
across the top and stands to a height of 1.8m. The south eastern quadrant has
been cut into by a later pit, now visible as a shallow depression. The motte
is surrounded by a broad ditch about 11m wide, which is apparent as a slight
earthwork.
The iron fence surrounding the motte is excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 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.

Although partially disturbed by later excavation, the motte castle 220m north
west of Higher Kempley Farm is a well-preserved example of this class of
monument. The mound will retain evidence of its constuction and the buried
remains of the structures that once occupied the site. Organic remains
preserved within the buried ground surface under the mound and within the
surrounding ditch will provide valuable evidence about the local environment
and the use of the land before and after the motte castle was constructed.
The close proximity of the motte castle to the later moated site suggests
these two monuments were related, thus indicating the changing forms of
manorial residence.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Heywood-Lonsdale, TC, (2000)

Source: Historic England

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