Newington Bagpath Motte, Kingscote

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

There are earthwork remains

NameNewington Bagpath Motte, Kingscote
Alternative Names
Historic CountryGloucestershire
Modern AuthorityGloucestershire
1974 AuthorityGloucestershire
Civil ParishKingscote

The motte castle 180m south west of Newington Bagpath survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The monument forms part of a wider group of medieval monuments within the area, including another motte, a church, a chapel and a pillow mound.

The monument includes a motte castle situated on the summit of a steep slope overlooking Hay Bottom to the north and east, 180m south west of Newington Bagpath, in an area of the Cotswold Hills. The motte, which is known as Newington Bagpath Castle Mound, has a mound composed of small stones. It has a maximum diameter of 40m and a maximum height of c.1.5m. The mound has a flat top which supports a smaller mound 15m wide and c.0.5m high. In the northern area of the mound there is a quarry 10m wide and c.1.2m deep. The motte is surrounded on the north, south and west sides by a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. The ditch varies in width from 5m in the north west to 6m in the south west and is c.1m-1.5m deep. The northern area of the ditch has been partially infilled and this is likely to be associated with nearby quarrying. The steep slope of the hill provides a natural defensive boundary on the eastern side of the monument. The monument is one of two motte castles known to occur locally, strategically sited either side of Hay Bottom. (Scheduling Report)

The castle mound stands on the crest of a steep scarp. It 'rises to 4 feet above ground level and is surrounded by a ditch 5 feet below which fades out on the scarp side; overall diameter 150 ft. indication of an entrance ramp on the north. The shape of the top suggested a small keep and forecourt to Mrs O'Neil. A pit dug in the centre of the top showed rubble and, I thought, broken edges of vaulting' (Lindley).

The motte is largely as described by Lindley

The ramp across the ditch in the north could be contemporary with quarrying on the summit, and the steepened side of the ditch in the west possibly indicates the original bridging point. There is no evidence of any structures on the motte nor is there any trace of a bailey. There is, however, a small rectangular building platform immediately to the north of the motte (F1 MHB 29-AUG-72). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Does Lindley's observation suggest this is not a motte but a collapsed small tower. This should be compared with Newnham Castle, Kent an apparently similar isolated motte found on excavation to be a collapsed Norman tower built on a revetted building platform.

- 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 ReferenceST816947
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  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of Gloucestershire and Bristol (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 23
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 182


  • Rawes, B., 1977, 'A Check List of Castles and other Fortified Sites of Medieval Date in Gloucestershire' Glevensis Vol. 11 p. 39-41 online copy
  • Lindley, E.S., 1954, 'Wotton under Edge Notes' Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Vol. 73 p. 234 online copy