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HER Number (PRN):00132
Name:Quatford Castle
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Conservation Area: Quatford
Scheduled Monument 1019008: Motte and bailey castle

Monument Type(s):


Scheduled Monument: Though cut into by the road, this is still a well-preserved example of a Norman motte and bailey (earthwork castle). Archaeological survival has been shown to be good, and the site is of particular interest because of its early date (it is believed to be one of the castles recorded in the Domesday Survey) and its association with the nearby Church of St Mary Magdalene.

Parish:Bridgnorth, Bridgnorth, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SO79SW
Grid Reference:SO 7379 9074

Related records

02640Related to: Find in 1960-61 of leaf arrowhead from Quatford Castle (Find Spot)

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA4324 - 1960-1961 A442 Roadworks Excavations at Quatford Castle by Philip Barker
  • ESA4325 - 1976 field observation by Shropshire County Council
  • ESA4326 - 1979 field observation by the Ordnance Survey
  • ESA4327 - 1954 field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA4328 - 1984 field observation by English Heritage


Oval motte c30ft high, and 60ft by 120ft diameter on top. Small bailey of c 1 acre to the E and NE <1a>

The castle was built by Roger de Montgomery before 1086 and a burgh was founded here, possibly on the site of the Danish encampment of 895-6 and of Aethelflaed's Burgh of 912 (but more probably at Bridgnorth). Abandoned in c1102. Excavation in the bailey for the Ministry of Works in advance of widening of the A442 at c SO7384 9075 produced post holes but no early material indicating the form of the burh, buildings dating to the period of the castle, or any signs of Danish activity. Sections through the "rampart" and "ditch" revealed no ditch, a C19th coin at the base of the rampart and unstratified late finds throughout the material. <3a>

The motte is crossed by a shallow linear ditch running N/S, and the N and S sides have been damaged by livestock. I Burrow FI 1976 <12>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1, Medium score as one of 46 Motte and Bailey castles <13>

CMHTS Record Sheet <14>

CMHTS Report <15>

Scheduling revised in 2000. Scheduling description: ->

-> The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a motte and bailey castle, occupying a commanding position over the valley of the River Severn and with extensive views of the uplands to the west. It is recorded in the Domesday survey that the fortified borough and the 'new house'(considered to be the castle) at Quatford had been built by Roger de Montgomery. In 1086 he founded the former collegiate church of St Mary Magdalene, which is located a short distance to the east of the castle. A documentary source records that the 'oppidum de Quatfort' (the settlement of Quatford) was transferred to Bridgnorth in 1101-02. ->

-> The flat-topped, steep-sided D-shaped motte stands about 9m high and measures approximately 35m by 50m at its base and 11m across the top. It was constructed next to a vertical cliff above the River Severn and is bounded on its eastern side by a 3m deep rock-cut ditch, which separates it from the bailey. The ditch was excavated in 1830-31 and produced a variety of finds, including a penny of Henry I (1068-1135). Old excavation trenches, 2m wide, for which no archaeological records survive, cut across the top of the motte. The bailey, about 0.5ha in area, occupies a low ridge with the ground falling away to the north and south. It is defined on its northern and southern sides by well-defined scarps, approximately 2m and 1.3m in height respectively, which were created by cutting into the natural slopes. The western end of the southern scarp is surmounted by a short bank to the south of which, continuing the line of the scarp, is a short ditch. The eastern side of the bailey has been cut into by a modern road. An archaeological excavation, undertaken in 1960 prior to the widening of the road, failed to locate any original defences defining the eastern side of the bailey. Numerous post holes were found during the investigation marking the positions of wooden structures which were probably used for storage or keeping livestock. Evidence from the excavation suggests that these structures were short-lived and helps to support the historical evidence that the site was abandoned by 1102 when Robert de Belesme established his castle at Bridgnorth, 6km to the north west. This is the subject of a separate scheduling. ->

-> All fences, gates and stiles, the water trough and fodder container, and the timber hut to the south of the motte are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. <16>

<00> Shropshire County Council SMR, Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards, SMR Card for PRN SA 00132 (Card index). SSA20722.

<01a> Armitage Ella S, 1912, Early Norman Castles, p53, p191 (Monograph). SSA637.

<01> Ordnance Survey, 1979, Ordnance Survey Record Card SO79SW29 (Card index). SSA640.

<02> Ordnance Survey, 1976, Ordnance Survey Record Card SO78NE11 (Card index). SSA639.

<03a> Mason J F A & Barker Philip A, 1961/ 1964, The Norman Castle at Quatford (Article in serial). SSA636.

<03> Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC), 1986, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 20815 (Field Monument Warden Report). SSA643.

<04> Victoria County History, 1908, Victoria County History 1, p398 with plan (Volume). SSA178.

<05> Chitty Lily F, 1961/ 1967, Article in the Transactions of the Caradoc and Severn Valley Field Club, p55-56 (Article in serial). SSA403.

<06> Prehistoric Research Group, List compiled by the Shropshire Prehistoric Research Group (Index). SSA569.

<07> Eyton R W, 1887, The Castles of Shropshire, p17 (Article in serial). SSA242.

<08> Burrow Ian, 1976, Photo (Photograph). SSA641.

<09> Department of the Environment (DoE), 1976, Map of Scheduled area, 1976 (Scheduled Monument notification). SSA642.

<10> Musson Chris R, 1992-May-15, CPAT 92/MB/0681 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA16126.

<11> Shropshire County Council, 1976, Correspondence, 1976 (Correspondence). SSA638.

<12> Burrow Ian, 1976, Comment, 1976 (VERBAL COMMUNICATION). SSA20205.

<13> Horton Wendy B, 1990/ 1991, MPP Evaluation File, Motte and Bailey Castles (TEXT). SSA20084.

<14> Buteux Victoria, 1993/ 1996, CMHTS SMR Records Shropshire: Quatford to Shifnal, Quatford 132 (Record form). SSA19972.

<15> Buteux Victoria et al, 1996, Archaeological Assessment of Quatford, Shropshire (CMHTS) (Historic landscape survey report). SSA12080.

<16> English Heritage, 2000, Scheduling Papers (Revised Scheduling, 07/06/2000) (Scheduled Monument notification). SSA21304.


[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 00132.
[01a]SSA637 - Monograph: Armitage Ella S. 1912. Early Norman Castles. p53, p191.
[01]SSA640 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1979. Ordnance Survey Record Card SO79SW29 . Ordnance Survey record cards. SO79SW29 .
[02]SSA639 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1976. Ordnance Survey Record Card SO78NE11 . Ordnance Survey record cards. SO78NE11 .
[03a]SSA636 - Article in serial: Mason J F A & Barker Philip A. 1961/ 1964. The Norman Castle at Quatford. Trans Shropshire Archaeol Hist Soc. Vol 57. p37-62.
[03]SSA643 - Field Monument Warden Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC). 1986. Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 20815.
[04]SSA178 - Volume: Victoria County History. 1908. Victoria County History 1. Victoria County History of Shropshire. Vol 1. p398 with plan.
[05]SSA403 - Article in serial: Chitty Lily F. 1961/ 1967. Article in the Transactions of the Caradoc and Severn Valley Field Club. Trans Caradoc Severn Valley Fld Club. Vol 16. p55-56.
[06]SSA569 - Index: Prehistoric Research Group. List compiled by the Shropshire Prehistoric Research Group.
[07]SSA242 - Article in serial: Eyton R W. 1887. The Castles of Shropshire. Trans Shropshire Archaeol Hist Soc. Ser 1, Vol X (=Vol 10). p17.
[08]SSA641 - Photograph: Burrow Ian. 1976. Photo.
[09]SSA642 - Scheduled Monument notification: Department of the Environment (DoE). 1976. Map of Scheduled area, 1976.
[10]SSA16126 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1992-May-15. CPAT 92/MB/0681. Black and White. Medium.
[11]SSA638 - Correspondence: Shropshire County Council. 1976. Correspondence, 1976.
[12]SSA20205 - VERBAL COMMUNICATION: Burrow Ian. 1976. Comment, 1976.
[13]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File. Motte and Bailey Castles.
[14]SSA19972 - Record form: Buteux Victoria. 1993/ 1996. CMHTS SMR Records Shropshire: Quatford to Shifnal. Central Marches Historic Towns Survey record form. Vol 9. Quatford 132.
[15]SSA12080 - Historic landscape survey report: Buteux Victoria et al. 1996. Archaeological Assessment of Quatford, Shropshire (CMHTS). Hereford & Worcester CAS Rep. Rep 337.
[16]SSA21304 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 2000. Scheduling Papers (Revised Scheduling, 07/06/2000). 32322.
Date Last Edited:Apr 9 2018 1:45PM