Clungunford Motte

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameClungunford Motte
Alternative Names
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishClungunford

The motte castle at Clungunford survives quite well and is a good example of its class. It will retain archaeological material relating to both its method of construction and the nature of its use and occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved, sealed on the old land surface beneath the motte and in the ditch fill. Such motte castles provide valuable information concerning the settlement pattern and social organisation of the countryside during the medieval period. In this respect the proximity of the parish church which lies some 90m to the south west of the motte adds significance to the motte.

The monument includes the remains of a small motte castle situated on the east bank of the River Clun in close proximity to St Cuthbert's Parish Church. It includes a castle mound, or motte, originally circular in plan with a diameter of approximately 28m rising to an irregular surfaced summit 3.2m high. There are old quarrying scars on the east and south sides of the motte which distort the shape of the mound. Around the east side of the mound are traces of a surrounding ditch up to 10m wide and 0.3m deep, from which material for the construction of the mound would have been quarried. This will continue as a buried feature around the north and west sides of the motte. Immediately south of the motte a small stream runs westwards close to the south side of the mound. The straightness of the stream course suggests that it follows a man-made channel which is of later date than the motte. (Scheduling Report)

Clungunford; a small mount 13ft high, the summit is hollowed to a depth of 4ft; no trace of ditch (VCH 1908)

Low mound; excavations revealed layers of ash, with pottery (some pronounced Norman, with glaze) and fragments of a stone mortar

A 4 3/4" pin, possibly, also came from the tumulus (Renn).

Mutilated remains of a small motte within a meadow, has a base diameter of about 28.0m and a present maximum height of 3.2m, but the mound has been quarried into extensively on the E and S sides. On the E side are traces of what may have been a ditch, 10.0m in width, 0.3m in depth, which connects with a stream on the S side (F1 ASP 15-OCT-73). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

This probably represents the site of that part of Clungunford recorded as held by Picot de Say in Domesday, one of the larger manors in Shropshire. The sub-tenant certainly held it by military service although it seems sometimes to have been a whole knight's fee and sometimes a half fee. Castle-guard was owed at Clun. As with other small motte of this type this is often described as "defending" the crossing of the River Clun. Such a statement gives no account as to who would be doing this defending since in times of trouble the trained knight would not be here, at his home, but at Clun Castle. There is no bailey and this mound, even though probably supporting a timber tower, was most likely a symbolic representation of the knightly status of the manorial tenant who's undefended house would have been adjacent.

- 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 ReferenceSO395787
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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 52° 24' 13.08" Longitude -2° 53' 23.9"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 52° 24' 13.08" Longitude -2° 53' 23.9"

View full Sized Image

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  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 64-5
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 87 (slight)
  • Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford) p. 194
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 21
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 424
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 148
  • Rees, W., 1933, Historical map of South Wales and the Borders in the C14
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 384-5
  • Eyton, R.W., 1860, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 11 p. 297- (tenurial history) online copy
  • Hartshorne, C.H., 1841, Salopia Antiqua (London) p. 102-6 online copy


  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1963, 'Early castles in Wales and the Marches: a preliminary list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 112 p. 77-124
  • Rocke, T.O., 1874, 'Clungunford Tumulus' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 29 p. 123-7 online copy
  • Rocke, T.O., 1863, Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 19 p. 317-19 (excavation report) online copy


  • English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Revision, 01/11/1995)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1987, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 32992 (06/08/1987)