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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 362774

Hob Uid: 362774
Location :
Bedford
Cotton End
Grid Ref : TL1001044230
Summary : A small medieval motte castle located 780 metres south east of Wood Farm, on the northern edge of Greensand Ridge overlooking Cardington, Bedford and the broad plain of the River Ouse. The castle stands on a broad terrace below the summit of the ridge, and was formed by the excavation of a wide ditch around a central mound, or motte, raised from the upcast soil. The motte, which is circular in plan, measures about 20 metres in diameter. It stands approximately 1.8 metres above the level of its surroundings and the surface has a slightly domed profile. The surrounding ditch measures approximately 4.5 metres in width and 1.4 metres in depth, and a low counterscarp bank surrounds the outer edge. The castle is thought to have been constructed in the late 11th or 12th century, either as part of the consolidation of the countryside after the Norman invasion, or as a matter of local defence during the period of sporadic civil war between Stephen and Matilda (1134-1148). Scheduled.
More information : "Hidden in Exeter Wood near Cotton End is a low motte with shallow earthwork adjoining .... It is too overgrown for proper examination, but its position overlooking the Ouse valley is an excellent one ..."

(No other references. Not shown on any OS plans). (1)

A small medieval motte castle located 780 metres south east of Wood Farm, on the northern edge of Greensand Ridge overlooking Cardington, Bedford and the broad plain of the River Ouse. The castle stands on a broad terrace below the summit of the ridge, and was formed by the excavation of a wide ditch around a central mound, or motte, raised from the upcast soil. The motte, which is circular in plan, measures about 20 metres in diameter. It stands approximately 1.8 metres above the level of its surroundings and the surface has a slightly domed profile. The surrounding ditch measures approximately 4.5 metres in width and 1.4 metres in depth, and a low counterscarp bank surrounds the outer edge. The castle is thought to have been constructed in the late 11th or 12th century, either as part of the consolidation of the countryside after the Norman invasion, or as a matter of local defence during the period of sporadic civil war between Stephen and Matilda (1134-1148). (2)

The motte described above was viewed on an extensive range of aerial photographs, but the motte is completely tree covered and its earthworks could not be mapped as part of the Bedford Borough NMP project. Environment Agency Lidar imagery was not available. However its location is visible by a circular growth of deciduous trees, which is surrounded by coniferous plantations. (3-4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Bedfordshire magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 350
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 8 (1961-3)
Source Number : 2
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 23/02/1998
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 3
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR 26184/32 17-DEC-2008
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Georeferenced composite layer of vertical aerial photographs taken in 1986. Held by Bedford Borough Historic Environment Record
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Late C11 or C12
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1067
Monument Type : Motte
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 29402
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 14 SW 16
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, BEDFORD BOROUGH NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2016-02-01
End Date : 2019-05-03