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Name:Motte at Castle Green, Leigh
HER Reference:WSM00279
Type of record:Monument
Grid Reference:SO 780 519
Map Sheet:SO75SE
Parish:Leigh, Malvern Hills, Worcestershire

Monument Types

  • CASTLE (MEDIEVAL - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOTTE AND BAILEY (MEDIEVAL - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • Historic Environment Flood Risk Assessment (NHPP)

Full description

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the motte and bailey castle at Castle Green. The motte is 4m to 5m high and 13m to 15m in diameter around the top. It is surrounded by a ditch 1m to 2m wide and 1m deep , with a countersunk bank . To the south of the motte are the remains of another flat topped mound, rising 3m to 4m above ground level and measuring 40m in diameter. The mound is partly surrounded by a ditch containing a water course on the north and west and partly enclosed by a moat or ponds to the south and west sides. The moat is thought to have been landscaped but continues to reflect the form shown on earlier surveys. The area thus defined is believed to be the inner bailey of the complex. The monument is first identified in a document of 1346 although the form of the earthworks suggest an earlier, Norman origin. The castle may be identified with the manor of Castleleigh held by the Pembridge family from the Abbots of Pershore in the 13th century.

The remains at Castle Green are important in preserving a small Norman motte in good condition with little evidence of recent disturbance. The remains will also preserve the internal composition of the mounds and evidence about the accommodation provided on the motte and within the bailey. This will allow consideration of the functions of high status and defensive settlements within a frontier region during the early years of Norman colonisation. In addition, the water-logged areas of the monument will preserve environmental deposits which will provide insights into both the agricultural regime in the area during the Norman period, and the occupation and diet of the occupants of the monument. [1][2][4]

At Castle Green is a well-made and well-preserved moated mound, 70ft and 150ft in diameter at the top and base respectively, and 20ft high. It is neatly encircled by a ditch and counterscarp bank, except on the south, where it is faced by another flat-topped mound, about 9ft high, also partially ditched. This second work represents probably the inner baily, and beyond it are traces of other inclosures, now nearly obliterated by farm buildings. A small stream runs to the south of the two mounds, and its marshed probably added to the defence. The site was known as 'Castellegh' in 1346 but the plan of the works suggests a Norman origin. [3]

Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.): HW 282
Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.): WT 82
Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.): 30023. [5]
The earthwork and buried remains of the medieval motte and bailey castle at Castle Green. The motte is 4-5 metres high and 13-15 metres in diameter around the top. It is surrounded by a ditch 1-2 metres wide and 1 metre deep, with a counterscarp bank. To the south of the motte are the remains of another flat-topped mound, rising 3-4 metres above ground level and measuring 40 metres in diameter. The mound is partly surrounded by a ditch containing a water course on the north and west and partly enclosed by a moat or ponds to the south and west sides. The area thus defined is believed to be the inner bailey of the complex. The monument is first identified in a document of 1346 although the form of the earthworks suggest an earlier, Norman origin. The castle may be identified with the manor of Castleleigh held by the Pembridge family from the Abbots of Pershore in the 13th century. Scheduled. The earthwork remains of the above described Medieval Motte and Bailey were seen as tree covered earthorks and mapped from aerial photographs.[5]

(SO78065198) Castle Mound (NR).[6]

A well preserved motte, 20 ft high, with its top 70 ft in diameter and its base 150 ft in diameter. South of it is another flat topped mound, about 9 ft high, probably a bailey. Both mounds are surrounded by ditches. South of the bailey are traces of other inclosures, now nearly obliterated by farm buildings. Although the earthworks suggest a Norman origin it is possible that this was the stronghold thrown up in the 13th century by Henry de Pembridge who forfeited his lands in 1265 after the Barons' War. [7]

(SO78065197) The motte is 50.0 m in diameter at its base and 5.0 m high surrounded by a ditch 3.1 m deep. There is scarping of the natural slope outside the ditch on all sides except the south and south east.To the south of the motte is a raised area, with a ditch 2.4 m deep on the north-west side, probably representing a bailey. There is no trace of enclosures to the south of the bailey.The site is very densely overgrown. Published survey (25") correct. [Field Investigators Comments:13/08/1970][5]

SO 781520 Motte at Castle Green scheduled. [County list of Scheduled Ancient Monuments : December 1987, 14Hereford and Worcesterm English Heritage][5]


The earthwork remains of the above described features attributed to a Motte and Bailey were seen as tree-covered earthworks, but details were masked by the trees. The outline of the motte could be seen at SO 7805 5196 and to the south-east a mound with traces of an outer ditch on its western side could be seen at SO 7807 5191. [5]
All features were mapped from aerial photographs. [Scheduled Monument Notification: 23/02/1998], [Vertical aerial photograph reference number: RAF 541/104 4032-3 23-JUL-1948][5]

Listed by Cathcart King. [Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands 507, 2, David J Cathcart King][5]
The motte (as described above) is large, though not high, with a shallow ditch and broad counterscarp bank. The outer edge of the counterscarp has been damaged by ploughing and there are active animal burrows in the mound. The water features immediately to the south survive, though whether they represent an 'inner bailey' is not clear. There is no visible trace of enclosures or other earthworks further to the south and east among the farm buildings, and a large, recently dug fishing pond to the east now occupies much of what was probably the bailey. [Field Investigators Comments: English Heritage Malvern Hills Project/4-JAN-2002/M Bowden][5]

Related Events: 114027: Field observation on SO 75 SE 4
1317924: Air Photograph Interpretation English Heritage:Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Project. [5]

1323772: Measured Survey RCHME: Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Project. [5]

Related Archives/Objects:
MD000025: English Heritage: Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Project, SO 75 SE


This record includes National Record of the Historic Environment Information provided by Historic England on 9th April 2019 licensed under the Open Government Licence: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/ [5]

Sources and further reading

<1>Bibliographic reference: MWT. 1964. Schedule. HBMC.
<2*>Bibliographic reference: Aston M. 1970. Mick Aston's plans and notes regarding Castle Green. SMR file.
<3*>Bibliographic reference: Page, W. 1924. A History of the County of Worcestershire; Volume IV. Victoria County History. 426, 103.
<4*>Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1998. English Heritage Schedule Update. English Heritage.
<5>Internet Site: Historic England. 2019. National Record of the Historic Environment Monument Database. 114026, 2000, updated 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.
<6>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1954-1963. Digital 5th Edition OS Map (Original scale:6" (1:10560)). Landmark Digital. 1954-1963.
<7>Bibliographic reference: Page, W. 1924. A History of the County of Worcestershire; Volume IV. Victoria County History. 101. 426.