Gumley Cat Gruff

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameGumley Cat Gruff
Alternative NamesDanes Camp; The Mot; The Mount
Historic CountryLeicestershire
Modern AuthorityLeicestershire
1974 AuthorityLeicestershire
Civil ParishGumley

The motte comprises a flat-topped, circular mound approximately 40m in diameter and 4m tall with an area of about 15m across the top. The surrounding ditch is very silted and has a width of 5-6m and generally less than 0.5m deep. A levelled area up to 9m exists outside the motte ditch, after which the ground falls away sharply on all sides except the east. (PastScape–scheduling report)

The mound occupies the southern end of a spur. It is bowl-shaped, with a flat top, c.20.0m in average diameter. It is surrounded by a ditch, 3.0m wide and 0.3m deep; and is under grass and trees. The mound is known locally as The Mount and regarded as an antiquity though without exact definition as to its reputed purpose (a). Its position, size and profile suggest it may be a motte; although no evidence of a bailey was found. However, it is placed in former parkland, with ornamental lakes to the south and north-west, and it is possible that it is a comparatively recent gazebo-mound or ornamental landscaping. (PastScape–Field Investigators Comments-W C Woodhouse/28-MAR-1960/Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigator)

Gatehouse Comments

The mound is just outside but still close to village, so may represent a more prominent and better fortified manorial centre than the probable Saxon original, although this scenario is rare. Creighton considers it likely to be a prospect mound despite it being scheduled as a motte. The Scheduling does report that there was a possible moated site to the south, contemporary with the motte which has been levelled. If so the mound would be rather less isolated in the medieval landscape but such a form - isolated motte near to but not adjacent to a moated site - whilst not unknown is rare. In such a circumstance the motte can really only have function as a symbolic feature. Later adaptation as a prospect mound is not excluded by such a scenario.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSP678898
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Knox, Richard, 2015, 'The medieval fortified sites of Leicestershire and Rutland' in Medieval Leicestershire: Recent research on the Medieval Archaeology of Leicester (Liecestershire Fieldworks 3) p. 123-42
  • Cantor, Leonard, 2003, The Scheduled Ancient Monument of Leicestershire and Rutland (Leicester: Kairos Press) p. 32-3
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 36
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 253


  • Creighton, O.H., 1997, 'Early Leicestershire Castles: Archaeology and Landscape History' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 71 p. 29 online copy


  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 386-7 online copy