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HER Number (PRN):00148
Name:Lower Down Motte
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1012853: Motte castle and associated settlement remains

Monument Types

  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1540 AD)
  • MOTTE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1540 AD)
  • SHELL KEEP (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1540 AD)

Summary

Scheduled Monument: A good example of a Norman earthwork castle, with remains of a later stone keep on top, Lower Down is of particular interest because it sits within an associated area of medieval settlement earthworks.

Parish:Lydbury North, South Shropshire, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SO38SW
Grid Reference:SO 3365 8465

Related records

03073Parent of: Deserted settlement at Lower Down (Monument)

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA4375 - 1979 field observation by Shropshire County Council
  • ESA4376 - 1978 field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA4377 - 1980 field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA4378 - 1983 field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA4379 - 1973 field observation by the Ordnance Survey
  • ESA6473 - Pre 2010 field survey of Sunny Hill and the Down by Lydbury Field Group
  • ESA8579 - 2018 Trial trench at 17 Lower Down, Lydbury North by Archaeology Wales

Description

Small and mutilated. Base diameter 34m, 4.7m high on W. Summit diameter 18m. Most of E side removed. Ditch 6.5m wide, 2.1m to 0.6m deep. Counterscarp 0.3m high on all sides but SE. No trace of bailey. OS FI 1973 <2>
Remains of mound estimated as c20ft high originally. Remains of stonework found in C19. Finds: Iron axehead, tooth and C15-C16 pottery found in 1909. See SA 3073. <2a>
Listed as a small stone castle of which only the earthworks remain. <2b>

Laid stone, about 1m in length, showing in south west quadrant at the top of the mound. An earthen bank some 3m wide and 0.5m high extends NW across the field with a possible enclosure on west side. Field boundaries?. Otherwise the mound is as described by the OS. A Tyler FI 1979 <6>

Scheduled area extended in 1979 to include field to North of the motte [see PRN 03073] <7>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1: High score as one of 43 Motte castles; one of less than 10 Shellkeeps <11>

Scheduling revised in 1995. Scheduling description: ->

-> The monument includes the remains of a motte castle, the foundations of a shell keep and a group of earthworks marking the remains of an associated settlement. The motte is situated on the summit of a rounded hill overlooking ground falling to the north. It includes an earthen mound with a base diameter of 36m rising 4.7m to a summit 18m in diameter. The centre of the motte is hollowed to a depth of 1.5m, a feature which is believed to represent the foundation cut for a polygonal shell keep which originally stood on the mound. A section of laid stone walling 1m long remains visible in the south west quadrant of the mound top and indicates that this keep was of stone construction. Substantial stone foundations are visible to a depth of several feet where exposed by surface erosion, indicating that the keep foundations continue well below the current upper surface of the mound. Surrounding the mound is a ditch averaging 6.5m wide and between 2m and 0.6m deep. Coursed stone exposed in the side of the ditch in the north west quarter suggest that it was originally faced in stone. Material from the ditch cut has been thrown outwards to form a counter scarp bank along the outer edge of the ditch. This is visible as a well defined earthwork averaging 4.3m wide and 0.5m high on all sides but the south east where it is no longer present. To the north and north east of the motte are a group of low earthworks which indicate the buried remains of a small settlement which was associated with the motte castle. A linear bank up to 4m wide and 0.5m high with slight traces of a ditch on its east side extends from the motte curving out to the north. It runs for 57m before ending on a modern hedgeline. A well defined scarp 0.4m high runs parallel to the bank some 30m to the west. A second bank runs at right angles to the first extending towards the east. This ends after 70m on a modern hedgeline. North of this scarp are faint traces of the earthwork remains of ridge and furrow ploughing. These rectilinear earthworks represent the remains of a group of small enclosures bounded by banks and ditches, some of which functioned as small paddocks and stock enclosures whilst others were ploughed on occasion. Some of the enclosures, especially those to the north east of the motte contained buildings, the platforms of which survive as low earthworks. All boundary features are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included <12>

Communication through SCC website notified SMR of tree clearance on site. Possible re-interpretation of stone remains as square tower suggested by correspondent. <13>

Historic Environment Officer advised that tree clearance part of agreed SAM Management Plan. No official re-interpretation as a result of this. <14>

MU.271.1, Unit 1: A probable motte of Medieval date, seen as an earthwork, and mapped from good quality aerial photographs. EH Author: FJS Date: 11/01/94. ->

-> MU.271.2, Unit 1: A probable platform of Unknown Medieval date, seen as an earthwork, and mapped from good quality aerial photographs. EH Author: FJS Date: 11/01/94. <15>

Photographed during aerial survey in 2007 and 2009. <16>-<21>

Correspondance relating to possible tipping in the monument in 2004. <22>

Noted during field survey carried out in this area by Lydbury Field Group c.2009. This identified earthwork features interpreted as associated with the bailey of the castle. It also identified stone remains of the keep (photographed). <23>

At the summit of the motte, on the west side traces of a shell keep, comprising a 2.0m. length of exposed drystone walling, built of small flagstones, standing out of the turf to a maximum height of 0.15m. can now be recognised. At the north end the walling turns through a 120 degrees corner before fading out, but there are insufficient remains of the motte to determine how big the keep was. New detail insufficient to alter current survey. (For earthworks to the north and east of the motte, see deserted Medieval village remains [PRN 03073]). F2 ASP 07-FEB-80. <24>

Briefly discussed; article by Teri Greene. <25>


<00> Shropshire County Council SMR, Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards, SMR Card for PRN SA 00148 (Card index). SSA20722.


<01> Musson Chris R, 1983-Nov-23, CPAT 83/25/0035 to 0036 (2 photos) (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA16145.


<02a> Anon, Map annotation (Map annotation). SSA726.


<02b> Hogg A H A & King D J C, 1967, Masonry Castles in Wales and the Marches, p86 (Article in serial). SSA243.


<02> Ordnance Survey, 1980, Ordnance Survey Record Card SO38SW2 (Card index). SSA728.


<03> Musson Chris R, 1983-Nov-23, CPAT 83/C/0599 to 0600 (2 photos) (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA16146.


<04> Musson Chris R, 1987-Jan-03, CPAT 87/01/0029 to 0030 (2 photos) (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA16147.


<05a> Victoria County History, 1908, Victoria County History 1, p386 (Volume). SSA178.


<05> Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC), 1983, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 14323 (Field Monument Warden Report). SSA733.


<06> Tyler Alan W, 1979-Apr-23, Visit Notes, 23/04/1979 (Site visit report). SSA734.


<07> Department of the Environment (DoE), 1979, Scheduling Papers (New Scheduling, 16/11/1979) (Scheduled Monument notification). SSA730.


<08> Anon, 1979, Motte (Photograph). SSA732.


<09> Department of the Environment (DoE), 1979, Map of Scheduled area, 1979 (Scheduled Monument notification). SSA729.


<10> Department of the Environment (DoE), 1978, Scheduled Monument Report Form (AM7) (Field Monument Warden Report). SSA727.


<11> Horton Wendy B, 1990/ 1991, MPP Evaluation File, Motte Castles; Shellkeeps (TEXT). SSA20084.


<12> English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Revised Scheduling, 22/07/1995) (Scheduled Monument notification). SSA731.


<13> Davis P, 2006, Email relating to Lower Down Castle (Correspondence). SSA22438.


<14> Watson Michael D, 2005, Comment in conversation with SMR Officer (VERBAL COMMUNICATION). SSA22223.


<15> National Monuments Record (NMR), 1993/ 1994, Marches Uplands Mapping Project (MUMP) MORPH records (2006 version), MU.271.1 Unit 1; MU.271.2 Unit 1 (Database file). SSA22521.


<16> Shropshire Council, 2009-Mar-20, SA0906_51 to SA0906_55 (5 photos) Flight: 09_SA_06 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA26088.


<17> Shropshire Council, 2009-Jan-6, SA0901_214 to SA0901_228 (15 photos) Flight: 09_SA_01 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA25878.


<18> Shropshire Council, 2007-Sep-7, SA0708_081 (1 photo) Flight: 07_SA_08 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA25145.


<19> Shropshire Council, 2007-Sep-7, SA0708_009 (1 photo) Flight: 07_SA_08 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA24955.


<20> Shropshire Council, 2007-Jul-24, SA0702_001 to SA0702_008 (8 photos) Flight: 07_SA_02 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA24866.


<21> Shropshire Council, 2007-Sep-7, SA0708_082 (1 photo) Flight: 07_SA_08 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA26935.


<22> Watson Michael D, 2004-Mar-12, Motte Castle, Lower Down Farm, Shropshire: monument no 19185 (Correspondence). SSA28488.


<23> The Lydbury Field Group, 2009, The making of the Lydbury landscape: six thousand years of human intervention, pp.87-89 (Archaeological fieldwork report). SSA23619.


<24> National Monuments Record (NMR), Pastscape, http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=107278 (Online database). SSA22230.


<25> South West Shropshire Historic and Archaeological Society (SWSHAS), 2012, South West Shropshire Historic and Archaeological Society (SWSHAS) Journal No 23, pp.6-10 (Serial). SSA30531.

Sources

[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 00148.
[01]SSA16145 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1983-Nov-23. CPAT 83/25/0035 to 0036 (2 photos).
[02b]SSA243 - Article in serial: Hogg A H A & King D J C. 1967. Masonry Castles in Wales and the Marches. Archaeologia Cambrensis. Vol 116. pp.71-132. p86.
[02a]SSA726 - Map annotation: Anon. Map annotation. County Series. 1:10560.
[02]SSA728 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1980. Ordnance Survey Record Card SO38SW2. Ordnance Survey record cards. SO38SW2.
[03]SSA16146 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1983-Nov-23. CPAT 83/C/0599 to 0600 (2 photos). Colour. 35mm.
[04]SSA16147 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1987-Jan-03. CPAT 87/01/0029 to 0030 (2 photos).
[05a]SSA178 - Volume: Victoria County History. 1908. Victoria County History 1. Victoria County History of Shropshire. Vol 1. p386.
[05]SSA733 - Field Monument Warden Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC). 1983. Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 14323.
[06]SSA734 - Site visit report: Tyler Alan W. 1979-Apr-23. Visit Notes, 23/04/1979.
[07]SSA730 - Scheduled Monument notification: Department of the Environment (DoE). 1979. Scheduling Papers (New Scheduling, 16/11/1979).
[08]SSA732 - Photograph: Anon. 1979. Motte. Colour.
[09]SSA729 - Scheduled Monument notification: Department of the Environment (DoE). 1979. Map of Scheduled area, 1979.
[10]SSA727 - Field Monument Warden Report: Department of the Environment (DoE). 1978. Scheduled Monument Report Form (AM7).
[11]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File. Motte Castles; Shellkeeps.
[12]SSA731 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 1995. Scheduling Papers (Revised Scheduling, 22/07/1995). 19185.
[13]SSA22438 - Correspondence: Davis P. 2006. Email relating to Lower Down Castle.
[14]SSA22223 - VERBAL COMMUNICATION: Watson Michael D. 2005. Comment in conversation with SMR Officer.
[15]SSA22521 - Database file: National Monuments Record (NMR). 1993/ 1994. Marches Uplands Mapping Project (MUMP) MORPH records (2006 version). Marches Uplands Survey. MU.271.1 Unit 1; MU.271.2 Unit 1.
[16]SSA26088 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2009-Mar-20. SA0906_51 to SA0906_55 (5 photos) Flight: 09_SA_06. Colour. Digital.
[17]SSA25878 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2009-Jan-6. SA0901_214 to SA0901_228 (15 photos) Flight: 09_SA_01. Colour. Digital.
[18]SSA25145 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2007-Sep-7. SA0708_081 (1 photo) Flight: 07_SA_08. Colour. Digital.
[19]SSA24955 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2007-Sep-7. SA0708_009 (1 photo) Flight: 07_SA_08. Colour. Digital.
[20]SSA24866 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2007-Jul-24. SA0702_001 to SA0702_008 (8 photos) Flight: 07_SA_02. Colour. Digital.
[21]SSA26935 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2007-Sep-7. SA0708_082 (1 photo) Flight: 07_SA_08. Colour. Digital.
[22]SSA28488 - Correspondence: Watson Michael D. 2004-Mar-12. Motte Castle, Lower Down Farm, Shropshire: monument no 19185. Klemperer B.
[23]SSA23619 - Archaeological fieldwork report: The Lydbury Field Group. 2009. The making of the Lydbury landscape: six thousand years of human intervention. pp.87-89.
[24]SSA22230 - Online database: National Monuments Record (NMR). Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=107278.
[25]SSA30531 - Serial: South West Shropshire Historic and Archaeological Society (SWSHAS). 2012. South West Shropshire Historic and Archaeological Society (SWSHAS) Journal No 23. 23. pp.6-10.
Date Last Edited:Nov 28 2018 1:49PM