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HER Number (PRN):01054
Name:Castle motte 50m SE of St John the Baptists Church, Stapleton
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1013492: Castle motte

Monument Type(s):

  • MOTTE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1540 AD)


Scheduled Monument: A good example of a 12th century motte (earthwork fortification), which is believed to have been one of King John's castles in 1207.

Parish:Condover, Shrewsbury and Atcham, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SJ40SE
Grid Reference:SJ 4710 0445

Related records: None recorded

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA1151 - 1971 field observation by the Ordnance Survey
  • ESA1152 - 1984 field observation by English Heritage


Mound 14ft in height surrounded by a ditch 3ft to 4ft deep. It stands partly in the churchyard and partly in a field, and has been badly mutilated by a wall and a ditch passing across it <1a>
The castle of Stapleton-in-Legharness was probably founded in the C12 was in the custody of King John in 1207 <1b>
Twelve ft high and 20m across the flat top, and up to 35m across overall. The surrounding ditch has been filled in and is represented only by a shallow hollow to the north, through which the church path passes. OS FI 1971 <1c>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1, Medium score as one of 43 Motte castles <9>

Scheduling affirmed in 1995. Scheduling description: ->

-> The monument includes the remains of a small motte castle situated on the north bank of a tributary of Cound Brook. The motte is believed to be the castle of Stapeleton-in-Legharness founded during the 12th century and which was in the custody of King John in 1207. The castle lies within the main north to south valley communication route along the Cound Brook valley south of Shrewsbury. It includes a castle mound, or motte, roughly circular in plan with a base diameter of 31m which rises 3m to a flat summit 22m in diameter. A slight hollow 2m wide and up to 0.3m deep around the north quarter of the site, through which the churchyard path runs, represents the only visible portion of the surrounding ditch. The ditch will survive as a buried feature of a similar width around the remaining sides of the mound. The eastern boundary of the churchyard crosses the motte summit and there are five grave markers set upon the part of the summit which falls within the churchyard. No bailey associated with the motte has yet been traced. The churchyard boundary fence and the five grave markers on top of the motte are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included <10>

Photographed during aerial survey in 2007 and 2009. <11><12>

By the 14th century this castle ceased to be the residence of the lord of the manor. <13>


[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 01054.
[01a]SSA178 - Volume: Victoria County History. 1908. Victoria County History 1. Victoria County History of Shropshire. Vol 1. p387.
[01b]SSA242 - Article in serial: Eyton R W. 1887. The Castles of Shropshire. Trans Shropshire Archaeol Hist Soc. Ser 1, Vol X (=Vol 10). p27.
[01c]SSA31554 - Site visit report: Ordnance Survey Field Investigator. Various. NRHE: Ordnance Survey Field Investigators Comments. F1 FKB 25-JAN-71.
[01]SSA3884 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1971. Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ40SE2. Ordnance Survey record cards. SJ40SE2.
[02]SSA3889 - Field Monument Warden Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC). 1986. Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 21044.
[03]SSA3885 - Photograph: Anon. Photos.
[04]SSA3888 - Photograph: Anon. 1984. Stapleton Motte. Colour.
[05]SSA3886 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. Map of Scheduled area.
[06]SSA3882 - Correspondence: English Heritage. 1990. Correspondence, 1990.
[07]SSA3883 - Correspondence: Shropshire County Council. 1992. Correspondence, 1992.
[08]SSA17003 - Oblique aerial photograph: Barret Gill. 1993. Barret Gill, Oblique View, 1993: 93/Q/05 (Colour slide). Colour.
[09]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File.
[10]SSA3887 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 1995. Scheduling Papers (Affirmation, 08/11/1995). 19225.
[11]SSA25102 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2007-Aug-5. SA0704_162 (1 photo) Flight: 07_SA_04. Colour. Digital.
[12]SSA25942 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2009-Mar-19. SA0905_53 (1 photo) Flight: 09_SA_05. Colour. Digital.
[13]SSA1126 - Volume: Gaydon A T (ed). 1968. Victoria County History 8: Condover and Ford Hundreds. Victoria County History of Shropshire. Vol 8. p.162.
Date Last Edited:Dec 13 2021 8:39AM