Shenley Church End; The Toot

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameShenley Church End; The Toot
Alternative NamesSchenlea
Historic CountryBuckinghamshire
Modern AuthorityMilton Keynes
1974 AuthorityBuckinghamshire
Civil ParishShenley Church End

The site, known as The Toot, comprises a complex of earthworks covering an area of circa 4 hectares, including a large motte like mound after which the site is named. These earthworks mark the probable site of a medieval or post-medieval house, possibly of manorial status, with gardens and associated enclosures. At least two distinct phases of medieval or post-medieval layout can be recognised as well as possible further landscaping in C18. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (Bucks 91), although its scheduling classification as a motte and bailey cannot directly be substantiated from the field evidence. However, the possibility remains that the large mound is an unrecorded motte which has been incorporated into the later garden landscaping. A 1974 field investigator's suggestion that the house site reuses an earlier medieval homestead moat would also seem correct. (PastScape–ref. Stewart Ainsworth, 1989)

Gatehouse Comments

Some online sources give the precise date of 1239 as the date of construction of this motte. No source is however given. The tenurial history given in the VCH would suggest construction by Hugh the tenant of Earl Hugh of Chester shortly after the Conquest or during the C12 when the tenants were the Maunsell.

- 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 ReferenceSP828363
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  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of The Thames Valley and The Chilterns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 37
  • Croft, R.A. and Maynard, D.C., 1993, The Changing Landscape of Milton Keynes (Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society Monograph 5)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 28
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1927, VCH Buckinghamshire Vol. 4 p. 445 online transcription
  • RCHME, 1913, An inventory of the historical monuments in Buckinghamshire Vol. 2 (north) p. 257-8 online copy
  • Allcroft, A. Hadrian, 1908, Earthwork of England (London) p. 482-3 online copy
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1905, VCH Buckinghamshire Vol. 1 p. 247 online copy
  • Sheahan, J., 1862, History and Topography of Buckinghamshire (London) p. 598 online copy
  • Lipscomb, G., 1847, History and Antiquities of Buckinghamshire Vol. 1 p. 324


  • Green, S. and Mynard, D., 1972, 'Archaeology in Milton Keynes' South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 2 p. 26 online copy

Primary Sources

  • 1889, The Great Roll of the Pipe for the thirteenth year of the reign of King Henry II A.D. 1166-1167 (Pipe Roll Society 11) p. 109 online copy