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HER Number (PRN):01090
Name:Motte castle 140m south east of Wilcot Hall
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1013498: Motte castle

Monument Types

  • MOTTE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1540 AD)
  • RINGWORK? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1540 AD)
  • TOWER KEEP (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1540 AD?)


Scheduled Monument: A good example of a Norman motte (earthwork castle), which includes the remains of a major tower keep (a strongly fortified residence) of unknown date.

Parish:Great Ness, Shrewsbury and Atcham, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SJ31NE
Grid Reference:SJ 3797 1853

Related records: None recorded

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA1296 - Undated field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA1297 - 1972 field observation by the Ordnance Survey
  • ESA1298 - 1986 field observation by English Heritage


A ringwork; the perimeter ditch to the S is now barely distinguishable. OS FI 1972 <1>

The motte at Wilcott lies at the northern end of a natural bank. A ditch now 1ft deep separates it from the higher land to the south, whilst other sides are defended by swampy ground, through which a stream runs. The motte, which has a hollow 6ft deep in its summit, rises steeply to a height of 30ft above the low ground, but is only 12ft above the bottom of the semi-circular ditch to the S <3a>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1, Medium score as one of 43 Motte castles <6>

The monument includes the remains of a motte castle situated on the northern end of a low spur east of the village of Wilcott and overlooking the valley of a small stream to the north west. It includes a well defined castle mound, or motte, which is circular in plan and has a base diameter of 42m. The motte is positioned on the tip of the spur using the natural defensive strength of its position to maximum effect. Around the north side of the site the slope of the motte and the natural slope of the spur merge so that the motte summit stands 9.2m above the wet ground to the north, and there is no outer ditch. Around the south side, where the natural slope of the spur top rises slightly away from the motte, the motte stands approximately 3.9m high and is separated from the spur by a curving ditch 4m wide and 0.2m deep cut across the line of the spur. The summit of the motte has a maximum diameter of 26m and is hollowed at centre to a depth of 2.4m forming a depression 21m in diameter. This is believed to represent the foundations of a circular tower which originally occupied the motte summit. At the centre of the depression a circular hollow 4m in diameter and 2m deep represents an early investigation of the site. The south western quarter of the bank formed around the edge of the central depression has also been cut at some time in the past, creating an entrance gap 4m wide into the motte interior. No bailey associated with the motte has yet been traced. <7>

Photographed during aerial survey in 2009. <8>

<00> Shropshire County Council SMR, Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards, SMR Card for PRN SA 01090 (Card index). SSA20722.

<01> Ordnance Survey, 1977, Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ31NE4 (Card index). SSA4117.

<02> Musson Chris R, 1986-Jan-03, CPAT 86/MB/0015 to 0016 (2 photos) (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA17055.

<03a> Victoria County History, 1908, Victoria County History 1, p385 with illus (Volume). SSA178.

<03> Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC), 1987-Jun-10, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 31756 (10/06/1987) (Field Monument Warden Report). SSA4120.

<04> Musson Chris R, 1985-Jul-07, CPAT 85/09/0006 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA17056.

<05> English Heritage, Map of Scheduled area (Scheduled Monument notification). SSA4118.

<06> Horton Wendy B, 1990/ 1991, MPP Evaluation File (TEXT). SSA20084.

<07> English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Affirmation, 08/11/1995) (Scheduled Monument notification). SSA4119.

<08> Shropshire Council, 2009-Apr-5, SA0908_256 (1 photo) Flight: 09_SA_08 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA25799.


[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 01090.
[01]SSA4117 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1977. Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ31NE4. Ordnance Survey record cards. SJ31NE4.
[02]SSA17055 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1986-Jan-03. CPAT 86/MB/0015 to 0016 (2 photos). Black and White. Medium.
[03a]SSA178 - Volume: Victoria County History. 1908. Victoria County History 1. Victoria County History of Shropshire. Vol 1. p385 with illus.
[03]SSA4120 - Field Monument Warden Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC). 1987-Jun-10. Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 31756 (10/06/1987).
[04]SSA17056 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1985-Jul-07. CPAT 85/09/0006.
[05]SSA4118 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. Map of Scheduled area.
[06]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File.
[07]SSA4119 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 1995. Scheduling Papers (Affirmation, 08/11/1995). 19217.
[08]SSA25799 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2009-Apr-5. SA0908_256 (1 photo) Flight: 09_SA_08. Colour. Digital.
Date Last Edited:Feb 16 2016 1:15PM