Lowdham Motte

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameLowdham Motte
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNottinghamshire
Modern AuthorityNottinghamshire
1974 AuthorityNottinghamshire
Civil ParishLowdham

Excavations between 1936 and 1941 revealed the remains of a Medieval Motte. The mound was elliptical, 100ft by 70ft and 9ft high, surrounded by a ditch. A stone wall 4ft thick, was found around the edge of the top of the mound and a 'pavement' of stones 2ft wide and 18ft long ran across the ditch. The former probably represents the remains of a keep. Roman and Medieval pottery was found as well as two C14 keys. (PastScape)

Excavated August 1936. The mound was elliptical, 100 feet by 70 feet and 9 feet high, surrounded by a depression. It was covered in coarse grass and trees. A stone wall foundation, 4 feet thick, was found around the edge of the top of the mound and a 'pavement' of stones, 2 feet wide, 18 feet long, oriented 20oE, ran across the ditch. Fragments of roofing tile, Md. green-glazed potsherds, bones and some Roman potsherds were found in the mound. Trenches outside the mound revealed c.2 feet of occupation-soil overlying Keuper Marls. The depression was identified as a moat (ditch) with C. A.D.1400 potsherds, etc., within it (TS, 1937). Further work, in 1937, on the mound, revealed wall foundations in its NE corner with Md. green-glazed roof - tiles. Two 14th c. keys were found. On the NE of the mound, separate from it by the stream, is an earthwork formed by a ditch, 12 feet deep on the north and east, 'an early settlement site' (TS, 1938). More excavation in 1938 revealed that the motte's ditch was of similar dimensions all round (TS, 1939) The excavations (attended by Mr. Houldsworth) clearly revealed a stone built, Md. keep on the mound, with traces of other structures near the mound. There is a rectangular enclosure formed by a bank and ditch north of the mound and what may be the ditch of a large bailey is preserved by the sunken lane to the north and west of the mound - Church Lane. The outbreak of war stopped the work and the finds are believed to have been lost. Mr. Houldsworth has a few photographs of the excavation (corr.)

A ditched motte standing to a maximum height of 3.0m. tree covered in part. The top of the mound is greatly disturbed - doubtless due to previous excavations. No surface indication of building foundations was noted and no surface finds were made. No remains could be traced of the rectangular enclosure noted, in a region now under the plough. The suggested bailey and the '12ft. deep ditch' is a former sunken road now disused leading to St. Mary's Church (Field Investigators Comments–F1 BHS 03-OCT-60). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The excavations of the late 30's seem to have produced some interesting finds but, unfortunately were not fully written up. They are probably in need of reconsideration and further investigation would be need to do this. James Wright did some documentary research and a very simple earthwork survey for NCC but further funding for this work is not current.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSK664467
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All rights reserved View full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All rights reserved View full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All rights reserved View full Sized Image

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  • Wright, James, 2008, Castles of Nottinghamshire (Nottinghamshire County Council) p. 67
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 87
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 380
  • Stevenson, W., 1906, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Nottinghamshire Vol. 1 p. 305, 310, 313 online copy


  • Speight, Sarah, 2008, 'Castles as Past Culture: Living with Castles in the Post-Medieval World' Cha^teau Gaillard Vol. 23 p. 385-94 (slight)
  • Speight, Sarah, 1994, 'Early Medieval Castles in Nottinghamshire' Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire Vol. 98 p. 66
  • 1942, Thoroton Society, Excavation Section Vol. 6 p. 7
  • 1939, Thoroton Society, Excavation Section Vol. 3 p. 32
  • 1938, Thoroton Society, Excavation Section Vol. 2 p. 13
  • 1937, 'Lowdham Mound' Thoroton Society, Excavation Section Vol. 1 p. 11-15
  • Chalkley Gould, I., 1907, 'Some Nottinghamshire Strongholds' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 13 p. 51-64 esp. 57 (plan) online copy


  • Wright, James, 2010 Dec 9, pers. corr.
  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 273-4, 485 online copy