Tong Castle Hill

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameTong Castle Hill
Alternative NamesTonge; Tongue; Tong Norton
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishTong

Castle Hill motte and bailey castle at Tong Norton is a well-preserved example of this class of monument. Extensive remains of the structures that stood on the motte and within the bailey are expected to survive, which together with the associated artefacts and organic remains, will provide valuable evidence about the activities and lifestyle of the site's inhabitants. Documentary references provide valuable information about the length of its occupation, believed to be some 200 years, in relation to the nearby castle to the south west. The monument remains a prominent feature within the landscape.

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a motte and bailey castle known as Castle Hill, in the hamlet of Tong Norton. The castle is probably that mentioned in a charter dated 1185-90, although it is unclear whether an earlier documentary reference to a castle at Tong in 1098 relates to this site or to the castle 1.1km to the south west (mostly destroyed by the construction of the M54). It is probable that land referred to as 'Olde Castle' in a document dated 1320 is the castle at Tong Norton, indicating that the castle may have been abandoned by that time. The motte has been formed from a natural steep-sided, flat-topped knoll of red sandstone beside the River Wolfe, which is surrounded by gently undulating land. This kidney-shaped mound measures approximately 40m by 55m at its base, 28m by 33m (maximum dimensions) across the top and is between 5m and 2.5m high. The sides of the knoll may have been artifically enhanced to increase its defensiveness. To the south of the mound lies a triangular shaped bailey, measuring 40m by 65m internally (maximum dimensions). It is defined on its eastern side by a well-defined scarp, up to 0.8m high, created by cutting into the natural slope. On its western side it is defined by a natural slope, possibly artifically enhanced, that falls towards the River Wolfe. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

This is not a precursor to Tong Castle which was a strong C11 timber castle replaced with stone curtain wall in the C12. It must, therefore, represent the separate holding Tong Norton, although this a part of the manor of Tonge. Was this the site of the house of a sub-tenant? Who was this sub-tenant? How were they able to have a motte and bailey castle?

- 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 ReferenceSJ794080
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  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 163-4
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 80
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 59
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 431
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 324
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 397
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1910, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 5 p. 16 online copy


  • 1905, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 5 p. 248
  • Auden, J.E., 1897-8, Bye Gones (ser2) Vol. 5 p. 407

Primary Sources

  • Dugdale, William (Caley, J., Ellis, H. and Bandinel, B. (eds)), 1817-30 (originally pub. 1655-73), Monasticon Anglicanum (London) Vol. 6.1 p. 263 online copy


  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 37 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 35 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 36 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 46 online copy
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1987, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 31993 (02/02/1987)