Eastcotts Motte

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameEastcotts Motte
Alternative NamesWood Farm; Exeter Wood; Cardington
Historic CountryBedfordshire
Modern AuthorityBedfordshire
1974 AuthorityBedfordshire
Civil ParishEastcotts

The monument includes a small medieval motte castle located 780m south east of Wood Farm, on the northern edge of the Greensand Ridge overlooking Cardington, Bedford and the broad flood plain of the River Ouse. The castle stands on a broad terrace below the summit of the ridge, and was formed by the excavation of a wide ditch around a central mound, or motte, raised from the upcast soil. The motte, which is circular in plan, measures about 20m in diameter. It stands approximately 1.8m above the level of its surroundings and the surface, which would originally have supported a timber tower, has a slightly domed profile. The surrounding ditch measures approximately 4.5m in width and 1.4m in depth (to the level of the accumulated silts in the base), and a low counterscarp bank surrounds the outer edge. In the absence of a causeway spanning the ditch, access to the motte is believed to have been provided by a timber bridge. The castle is thought to have been constructed in the late 11th or 12th century, either as part of the consolidation of the countryside after the Norman invasion, or as a matter of local defence during the period of sporadic civil war between Stephen and Matilda (1134-1148). At the time of the Domesday Book (1086) the site of the castle lay within lands belonging to the manor of Cardington, and remained the property of the de Beauchamp family (under the barony of Bedford) until 1265, when the manor was divided following the death of John de Beauchamp at the battle of Evesham. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Scheduled as a motte, but was and is overgrown and has not been examined in detail. Despite being record in the 1960's not in Castellarium Anglicanum and may not have been examined by a castle studies expert. Isolated mound within ancient woodland halfway down scarp face of the Greensand Ridge. The location would give a view of traffic travel north toward Bedford along the A600. However, the Greensand ridge is not much of a barrier to traffic and this road would be easily bypassed, certainly by horse mounted cavalry. As it overlooked by higher ground less than a bow shot away (100m) can hardly be considered defensible. Is this really a motte?

- 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 ReferenceTL100442
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


  • Petre, James Scott, The Castles of Bedfordshire (Lavenham: Lavenham Press for Shaun Tyas) p. 55


  • Dyer, J.F., 1963, 'Bedfordshire Earthwork IX, The Castles: Part Two' Bedfordshire magazine Vol. 8 no. 64 p. 350