South Moreton Castle

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

There are earthwork remains

NameSouth Moreton Castle
Alternative Names
Historic CountryBerkshire
Modern AuthorityOxfordshire
1974 AuthorityOxfordshire
Civil ParishSouth Moreton

To the west of South Moreton churchyard is an earthwork consisting of an irregularly circular mound with a deep ditch excavated nearby all round it. "It lies close to the brook, and seems to have been intended for a small fortification, but as never completed." (VCH, 1906) Mound, South Moreton "The brook has been dammed back and the mound dug away towards the brook side to form the present mill dam." Betts, in making this observation offered to supply a sketch of:- "The site of the paved ford, embankments for 50 yards to the west now nearly ploughed away and the raised embankment or causeway before the rectory, which was dug down about 1880" Mound called Fossatum Castelli in 1220. (VCH, 1906, 1923, Betts) This mound, situated in a position commanding an alleged ford, has the appearance of a motte although it is of no great height and, on the west, the ditch is incomplete. The raised embankment or causeway in front of the rectory, referred to by Betts, has now disappeared. The embankment running for fifty yards to the west exists now as a slight scarp. It does not join the mound but begins and ends on hedges and most probably represents an old field bank. (field investigators comments, 1963) The remains of a possible Medieval motte centred at SU 5574 8803 with a diameter of 35m was seen as an earthwork. The motte is flanked by a ditch, part of what is thought to be the moat which is visible for almost half of the circuit on the north-eastern side (Small, 1992). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

A siege castle of the Anarchy is recorded at South Moreton and has been identified with the moated site at SU56248833, but it seems more probably that this castle was used, if not built, as this siege work.

- 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 ReferenceSU557880
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


  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of The Thames Valley and The Chilterns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 76
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 11
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 117
  • Page, Wm and Ditchfield, P.H. (eds), 1923, VCH Berkshire Vol. 3 p. 498-504 (manorial history) online transcription
  • Page, Wm and Ditchfield, P.H. (eds), 1906, VCH Berkshire Vol. 1 p. 266


  • Betts, W.J., 1910, 'South Moreton' Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 15 p. 73 (note–download via online copy

Primary Sources

  • Sewell, R.C. (ed), 1846, Gesta Stephani, Regis Anglorum et Ducis Normannorum p. 115 online copy (The newer edition and translation by Potter, K.R. (ed), 1976 (2edn), Gesta Stephani (Oxford University Press) should be consulted for serious study. See also Speight, S., 2000, 'Castle Warfare in the Gesta Stephani' , Château Gaillard Vol. 19 [see online transcription >])


  • Small, Fiona, 3-12-1992, Thames Valley NMP (RCHME)