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Name:MOTTE, Exeter Wood
HER No.:9263
Type of Record:Monument

Summary

Circular motte with surrounding ditch, within woodland.

Grid Reference:TL 100 442
Parish:EASTCOTTS, BEDFORD BOROUGH, BEDFORDSHIRE
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Full Description

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 20m in diameter. It stands approximately 1.8m above the level of its surroundings and the surface, which would originally have supported a timber tower, has a slightly domed profile. The surrounding ditch measures approximately 4.5m in width and 1.4m in depth and a low counterscarp bank surrounds the outer edge. In the absence of a causeway spanning the ditch, access to the motte is believed to have been provided by a timber bridge.

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). At the time of the Domesday book the site of the castle lay within the lands belonging to the manor of Cardington, and remained the property of the de Beauchamp family untill 1265, when the manor was divided following the death of John de Beauchamp at the battle of Evesham.

All fences and fenceposts are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

Protected Status: None recorded

Monument Type(s):

  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events: None recorded