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HER Number (PRN):01185
Name:Castle Toot motte castle, 450m WSW of Mawleytown Farm
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1012868: Castle Toot

Monument Types

  • MOTTE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1540 AD)

Summary

Scheduled Monument: A well-preserved example of a Norman motte castle (overlooking a crossing of the River Rea), of which the earthworks survive largely intact within later landscaped gardens, and which has produced evidence of structural remains.

Parish:Cleobury Mortimer, South Shropshire, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SO67NE
Grid Reference:SO 6820 7606

Related records: None recorded

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA1615 - 1967 field observation by the Ordnance Survey
  • ESA1616 - 1984 field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA6867 - 2011 WB at Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer by Headland Archaeology
  • ESA6868 - 2012 WB at Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer by Headland Archaeology
  • ESA6869 - 2007 trial trenching at Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer by Ironbridge Archaeology
  • ESA7087 - 2008 WB at Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer by Ironbridge Archaeology

Description

A semicircular area defended along its chord by the natural fall to the river, and around the remainder of its perimeter by a steep escarpment 17ft deep at the foot of which is a deep ditch, a 7ft counterscarp and an outer bank 2ft high. The entrance is at the N end <1a>
Site of Norman Castle?. Fragments of walls and an ancient gateway were visible at the end of the C18 and in 1911 stones forming causeway or bridge across ditch could be seen. Or prehistoric? The VCH included it under Hillforts <1b>
This feature is much as described by the VCH. The central area appears as a flat-topped mound, and the whole looks more like a castle mound than a hillfort. A house built in the mid 1950s now stands in the middle of the site. At SO6826 7617 the ground is much disturbed as though by building foundations and this could be the site of the gatehouse mentioned by Auchmuty. OS FI 1967 <1>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1, Medium score as one of 46 Motte and Bailey castles <7>

Scheduling revised in 1995. Scheduling description: ->

-> The monument includes Castle Toot, a motte castle situated on a small promontory on the east bank of the River Rea. The position has been chosen to overlook and control a crossing point on the River Rea and uses the natural defensive strength of the topography to maximum strategic effect. Around the west, south and east sides of the promontory the natural hillslope has been cut back to form a steep scarp up to 5m high. At the foot of the scarp around the south, east and north east sides is a ditch averaging 4m wide and 2m deep; the spoil from the ditch has been thrown outwards to form a low outer bank 0.5m high. Both the scarp and ditch terminate in the north west and south west on the precipitous valley side which forms the north west side of the defences. The original entrance appears to have been in the north east quarter of the castle where a causeway crosses the ditch and passes through a simple entrance gap in the perimeter scarp. Fragments of walling and the remains of a gatehouse were visible in this area at the end of the 18th century and in 1911 stones forming the base of a causeway or bridge were observed. Today none of the original stonework remains visible though slight surface irregularities in the vicinity suggest that buried foundations remain close to the surface. A substantial house was built in the centre of the castle in the 1950s. This house, all standing buildings and structures, boundary features and metalled surfaces are excluded from the scheduling though the ground beneath each is included. A septic tank in the north west quarter of the interior is totally excluded from the scheduling. <8>

A small test trench was excavated in 2007 within Castle Toot, on the site of a proposed garage. No in situ medieval deposits were recorded. A buried topsoil of 19th/20th century date, overlying pieces of irregular sandstone, interpreted as natural outcrops of the bedrock. <9>

Headland Archaeology conducted a watching brief at Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer in February-April 2011, during extensions and alterations to the existing building. The existing house is built on the position of a scheduled motte but is not included in the scheduling of the site. No deposits or finds of archaeological significance were observed during the work. <11>

Headland Archaeology conducted a furtehr watching brief at Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer in February 2012 during the installation of a water pipe associated with an extension to the property. The existing house is built on the position of a scheduled motte but is not included in the scheduling of the site. During the excavation of the water pipe trench, evidence for the infilling of the outer moat ditch was observed. <12>

Photographed during aerial photographic survey in 2008-2009. <13><14>


<00> Shropshire County Council SMR, Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards, SMR Card for PRN SA 01185 (Card index). SSA20722.


<01a> Victoria County History, 1908, Victoria County History 1, p371-373 with plan (Volume). SSA178.


<01b> Auchmuty S F, 1911, The History of Cleobury Mortimer, p5 (Monograph). SSA4771.


<01> Ordnance Survey, 1977, Ordnance Survey Record Card SO67NE8 (Card index). SSA4772.


<02> Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC), Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 25258 (Field Monument Warden Report). SSA4775.


<02a> Victoria County History, 1908, Victoria County History 1, p371-373 with plan (Volume). SSA178.


<03> Musson Chris R, 1992-Jun-26, CPAT 92/MB/0712 to 0713 (2 photos) (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA17166.


<04> Musson Chris R, 1992-Jun-26, CPAT 92/C/1000 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA17167.


<05> Ministry of Works, 1950, Map of Scheduled area, 1950 (Scheduled Monument notification). SSA4773.


<06> English Heritage, 1987, Correspondence, 1987 (Correspondence). SSA4770.


<07> Horton Wendy B, 1990/ 1991, MPP Evaluation File (TEXT). SSA20084.


<08> English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Revised Scheduling, 31/07/1995) (Scheduled Monument notification). SSA4774.


<09> Roper S, 2007, Archaeological Evaluation of Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer (draft report) (Excavation report). SSA24312.


<10> Hinton K, 2008, Archaeological Watching Brief at Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire (Watching brief report). SSA24436.


<11> Crooks K, 2012, Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer: archaeological watching brief (Watching brief report). SSA24310.


<12> Mayes S, 2012, Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer: archaeological watching brief (Watching brief report). SSA24311.


<13> Shropshire Council, 2008-Jun-8, SA0804_093 (1 photo) Flight: 08_SA_04 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA25699.


<14> Shropshire Council, 2009-Mar-20, SA0906_215 to SA0906_220 (6 photos) Flight: 09_SA_06 (Oblique aerial photograph). SSA26107.

Sources

[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 01185.
[01a]SSA178 - Volume: Victoria County History. 1908. Victoria County History 1. Victoria County History of Shropshire. Vol 1. p371-373 with plan.
[01b]SSA4771 - Monograph: Auchmuty S F. 1911. The History of Cleobury Mortimer. p5.
[01]SSA4772 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1977. Ordnance Survey Record Card SO67NE8. Ordnance Survey record cards. SO67NE8.
[02a]SSA178 - Volume: Victoria County History. 1908. Victoria County History 1. Victoria County History of Shropshire. Vol 1. p371-373 with plan.
[02]SSA4775 - Field Monument Warden Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC). Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 25258.
[03]SSA17166 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1992-Jun-26. CPAT 92/MB/0712 to 0713 (2 photos). Black and White. Medium.
[04]SSA17167 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1992-Jun-26. CPAT 92/C/1000. Colour. 35mm.
[05]SSA4773 - Scheduled Monument notification: Ministry of Works. 1950. Map of Scheduled area, 1950.
[06]SSA4770 - Correspondence: English Heritage. 1987. Correspondence, 1987.
[07]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File.
[08]SSA4774 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 1995. Scheduling Papers (Revised Scheduling, 31/07/1995). 19202.
[09]SSA24312 - Excavation report: Roper S. 2007. Archaeological Evaluation of Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer (draft report). Ironbridge Archaeology Series. 188.
[10]SSA24436 - Watching brief report: Hinton K. 2008. Archaeological Watching Brief at Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire. Ironbridge Archaeology Series. 220.
[11]SSA24310 - Watching brief report: Crooks K. 2012. Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer: archaeological watching brief. Headland Arch Rep. 909.
[12]SSA24311 - Watching brief report: Mayes S. 2012. Castle Toot, Cleobury Mortimer: archaeological watching brief. Headland Arch Rep. 932.
[13]SSA25699 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2008-Jun-8. SA0804_093 (1 photo) Flight: 08_SA_04. Colour. Digital.
[14]SSA26107 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2009-Mar-20. SA0906_215 to SA0906_220 (6 photos) Flight: 09_SA_06. Colour. Digital.
Date Last Edited:Jul 12 2017 3:38PM