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HER Number (PRN):01091
Name:Little Shrawardine motte and bailey
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1019198: Little Shrawardine motte and bailey castle

Monument Type(s):

Summary

Scheduled Monument: A well-preserved medieval motte and bailey (earthwork castle), of particular interest due to its association with Shrawardine Castle (with both castles controlling the river crossings at Shrawardine), and due to its reuse in World War II as an observation post.

Parish:Alberbury with Cardeston, Shrewsbury and Atcham, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SJ31NE
Grid Reference:SJ 3927 1521

Related records: None recorded

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA1299 - 1970 field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA1300 - 1972 field observation by the Ordnance Survey
  • ESA1301 - 1983 field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA8727 - 2018 Heritage at Risk Survey by Historic England
  • ESA8625 - 2014 Heritage at Risk Survey by Historic England
  • ESA8621 - 2015 Heritage at Risk Survey by Historic England
  • ESA8361 - 2016 Heritage at Risk Survey by Historic England
  • ESA8362 - 2017 Heritage at Risk Survey by Historic England
  • ESA9067 - 2019 Heritage at Risk Survey by Historic England

Description

The motte and bailey existed before 1165, as expenditure on repairs is recorded after 1165 and it was rebuilt in 1220. There are fragments of a square keep on the motte, mainly rubble, apart form an ashlar face with partly buried relieving arch. Both this and other stonework found on the site may be C12 <1a>

On the south side of the R Severn, stands 50ft above the river and 30ft above ground level. The bailey, which lies to the NE of the motte, consists of a quadrangular plateau 4ft above the general ground level on the SE, but descending by a steep escarpment to the river on the NW side. A rampart remains on the S angle and the SE side, and the ditch between the motte and the bailey has been utilised by a rough road leading down to the river <3a>

Measures 70ft by 28ft on summit of motte while bailey measures 210ft by 180ft <4>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1, Medium score as one of 46 Motte and Bailey castles <6>

Scheduling revised in 2000. Scheduling description: ->

-> The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a motte and bailey castle, situated next to the steep southern bank of the River Severn, with a commanding position of the flood plain of the river to the north and west. It is believed to have controlled a crossing point across the Severn and to have regulated river traffic approaching Shrewsbury from the west. A second motte and bailey castle, 800m to the north east, on the northern side of the river is considered to have served a similar function and is the subject of a separate scheduling. The commanding views from the top of the motte at Little Shrawardine led to its use during World War II as an observation post. ->

-> The flat-topped, steep-sided oval motte stands about 9m high and measures approximately 45m by 60m across at its base and 12m by 16m across the top. It is surrounded by a ditch, except on its northern side where there is a thin strip of land adjoining the river, which regularly floods in winter. The southern part of the ditch is considerably deeper than that to north. The bailey, which lies to the north east of the motte, measures 40m by 6Sm internally (maximum dimensions). The north western side coincides with the steep escarpment above the river, and its south western side is defined by a low bank, which survives to a height of 0.8m. Although no longer visible at ground level, an external ditch, approximately 5m wide, survives next to the bank. It has become infilled over the years and survives as a buried feature. The north eastern side of the bailey has been truncated by a steep cutting for former railway sidings and is thus not included in the scheduling. ->

-> All fences and gates, the water trough at the base of the motte, the water tanks and the beehive on top of the motte are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included <7>

Photographed during aerial survey in 2008. <8>

The motte and bailey existed before 1165, as expenditure on repairs is recorded after 1165 and it was rebuilt in 1220. There are fragments of a square keep on the motte, mainly rubble, apart from an ashlar face with a partly buried relieving arch. Both this and other stonework found on the site may be 12th century. <9>

Sources

[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 01091.
[01a]SSA244 - Monograph: Renn D F. 1968. Norman Castles of Britain. p311.
[01]SSA4122 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1977. Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ31NE7. Ordnance Survey record cards. SJ31NE7.
[02]SSA17057 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1986-Jan-03. CPAT 86/MB/0021 to 0022 (2 photos). Black and White. Medium.
[03a]SSA178 - Volume: Victoria County History. 1908. Victoria County History 1. Victoria County History of Shropshire. Vol 1. p390.
[03b]SSA4121 - Article in serial: Auden. 1884. Article in the Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society. Trans Shropshire Archaeol Hist Soc. Ser 1, Vol VII (=Vol 7). p121.
[03]SSA4124 - Field Monument Warden Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC). 1985. Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 17061.
[04]SSA4084 - Article in serial: Spurgeon C J & King D J C. 1965. The Mottes in the Vale of Montgomery. Archaeologia Cambrensis. Vol 114. p82.
[05]SSA4123 - Scheduled Monument notification: Department of the Environment (DoE). 1976. Map of Scheduled area, 1976.
[06]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File.
[07]SSA20797 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 2000. Scheduling Papers (Revised Scheduling, 07/06/2000). 32330.
[08]SSA25654 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2009-Apr-5. SA0908_14 to SA0908_17 (4 photos) Flight: 09_SA_08. Colour. Digital.
[09]SSA244 - Monograph: Renn D F. 1968. Norman Castles of Britain. p.311.
Date Last Edited:Jul 8 2021 2:57PM