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HER Number:MDV1062
Name:Castle Mound, North Tawton

Summary

Former castle motte, circa 35 metres in diameter and 2 metres high, now bisected by a modern boundary. The castle probably dates from the 12th century.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 666 017
Map Sheet:SS60SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNorth Tawton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTH TAWTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS60SE/10
  • Old SAM County Ref: 766
  • Old SAM Ref: 34286
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS60SE7

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MOTTE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Risdon, T., 1811, Choreographical Description of Devon, 1580-1640, 292 (Monograph). SDV20653.

'The moated fort adjoining the churchyard'.


Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 614,615 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Earthwork variously described as a moat or motte. Low mound, 2.7 metres high and 30.5 by 39.5 metres in plan. A moat which originally surrounded it is scarcely visible in places but survives to a depth of 1 metre on the south. Slight indications of entrance on south. Now bisected by a modern fence. Just over 30 metres to the north are the remains of another escarpment, much altered and destroyed by modern buildings. Other details: Plan.


Williams, H. F. F., 1954, North Tawton: A Devon Market Town, 117 (Article in Serial). SDV224896.

Risdon refers to it as the manor house of the Valletorts, the moat being still visible in the early 17th century.


Ministry of Public Building and Works, 1971, Moated Site E of St Peter's Church (Schedule Document). SDV345293.

Moated site crossed by a wall from north-west to south-west. The east side is under short grass. Ditch circa 5 feet deep, bank circa 5 feet high. West side of wall very overgrown so extent of moat unclear. Date of site visit: 17th March 1970.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1971 - 1977, SS60SE7 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV345294.

Site visit: 17th June 1971. Appears to be a castle mound with a flat, and probably spread, top. The surrounding ditch is traceable on all but the west side where it has been destroyed. No sign, or likelyhood of entrance. The possible bailey suggested in a wall is now built upon. Site of manor or court house unknown but perhaps to the west of the mound. Mound and surrounding fields densely overgrown.


Higham, R. A., 1979, The Castles of Medieval Devon, 129-130,249,260,293-4,296 (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV336189.

More likely to be a motte than a moat. Probably founded during the early years of the 12th century, although a civil war context (1130s or 1140s) is not impossible.


Weston, S., 1983, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1983 (Un-published). SDV343247.


Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/BF, 10A,11 (Aerial Photograph). SDV267543.


Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/GN, 10, 11 (Aerial Photograph). SDV4832.


Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/GO (Aerial Photograph). SDV15646.


Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/GO, 21, 22 (Aerial Photograph). SDV344137.


Higham, R. A., 1988, Devon Castles: An Annotated List, 144 (Article in Serial). SDV341278.


Exeter Archaeology, 2001, Archaeological Assessment of North Tawton Flood Defence Scheme, 12 (Report - Assessment). SDV319171.

Of national importance.


Posford Duvivier Environment, 2001, North Tawton Flood Defence Scheme. Environmental Appraisal, 19 (Report - Assessment). SDV356540.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2002, Motte 160m East of St Peter's Church (Schedule Document). SDV345295.

Motte situated on a gentle hillslope overlooking the valley of the River Taw to the east of the present centre of North Tawton. The monument survives as an approximately circular mound measuring up to 35 metres in diameter, up to 2 metres high and surrounded by a ditch up to 12.1 metres wide and a maximum of 1.5 metres deep. The mound and ditch are bisected by a field boundary which runs in a north-west to south-east direction. To the east, the ditch and a small section of the motte are clearly defined within a field. To the west, the motte and ditch lie within a garden. The mound in this western area has been cut on the southern side by two depressions, which are consistent with the area having been landscaped at some time in the past. A small wooden summer-house has also been erected in this area while to the north and overlying the ditch is a large woodshed which abuts a garden wall. Beyond this garden wall the ground surface has been deeply cut away and levelled for formal gardens and further buildings.
The field boundaries, statues, garden ornaments and buildings, and the paths which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.


Young, A., 2005, Transcriptions from Winkleigh Biomass Plant National Mapping Programme (NMP) project (Cartographic). SDV321540.

Transcriptions of a bank and two curvilinear ditches correspond to the grid reference for PRN166913.


Young, A. & Turner, S., 2005-2006, North Devon/Winkleigh Biomass Plant National Mapping Programme (NMP) project database records, PRN166913 (Interpretation). SDV358473.

A low mound is faintly visible among trees, on an aerial photo from 1946 (p1). The mound is at the location of the North Tawton 'Motte' or 'Moated Fort'. Two curved ditches are visible on the same aerial photographs as cropmarks, immediately to the east of the motte. These three features have been digitally plotted as part of the National Mapping Programme.
Photograph reference:
1. RAF 3G/TUD/UK138 5290-6 (F12) 11-APR-1946

Sources / Further Reading

SDV15646Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/GO. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV20653Monograph: Risdon, T.. 1811. Choreographical Description of Devon, 1580-1640. Choreographical Description of Devon, 1580-1640. Unknown. 292.
SDV224896Article in Serial: Williams, H. F. F.. 1954. North Tawton: A Devon Market Town. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 86. A5 Hardback. 117.
SDV267543Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/BF. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10A,11.
SDV319171Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2001. Archaeological Assessment of North Tawton Flood Defence Scheme. Exeter Archaeology Report. 01.34. A4 Stapled + Digital. 12.
SDV321540Cartographic: Young, A.. 2005. Transcriptions from Winkleigh Biomass Plant National Mapping Programme (NMP) project. Plot of Cropmarks. Digital. [Mapped feature: #65640 ]
SDV336189Post-Graduate Thesis: Higham, R. A.. 1979. The Castles of Medieval Devon. University of Exeter Thesis. Unknown. 129-130,249,260,293-4,296.
SDV341278Article in Serial: Higham, R. A.. 1988. Devon Castles: An Annotated List. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 46. Paperback Volume. 144.
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 614,615.
SDV343247Un-published: Weston, S.. 1983. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1983. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Unknown.
SDV344137Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/GO. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 21, 22.
SDV345293Schedule Document: Ministry of Public Building and Works. 1971. Moated Site E of St Peter's Church. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV345294Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1971 - 1977. SS60SE7. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV345295Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2002. Motte 160m East of St Peter's Church. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV356540Report - Assessment: Posford Duvivier Environment. 2001. North Tawton Flood Defence Scheme. Environmental Appraisal. Posford Duvivier Environment Report. H6086/01/EE1. A4 Stapled + Digital. 19.
SDV358473Interpretation: Young, A. & Turner, S.. 2005-2006. North Devon/Winkleigh Biomass Plant National Mapping Programme (NMP) project database records. Cornwall Council Report. Digital. PRN166913.
SDV4832Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/GN. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10, 11.

Associated Monuments

MDV121191Related to: Cropmark ditches, Castle Mound. North Tawton (Monument)
MDV21764Related to: North Tawton Borough (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7455 - Winkleigh Biomass Plant National Mapping Programme

Date Last Edited:Mar 1 2018 5:55PM