Hope Castle Mound, Shropshire

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameHope Castle Mound, Shropshire
Alternative NamesLady House; Leye; Worthen 3
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishWorthen With Shelve

The motte castle south west of Lady House Farm survives well and is a good example of its class. It will retain archaeological information relating to its construction and occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will survive sealed on the old land surface beneath the motte and in the ditch fill. Such motte castles, when considered as a single site or as a part of a broader medieval landscape, contribute valuable information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and social structure of the countryside during the medieval period.

The monument includes the remains of a small motte castle situated on ground falling gently to the north, overlooking the valley of the Rea Brook. It includes a mound of earth and stone rubble construction 23m in diameter at base rising 3.5m to a flattened summit 8m in diameter. A shallow ditch averaging 3m wide and 0.4m deep, from which material would have been quarried for the construction of the mound, remains visible as a surface feature around the south, west and north sides of the motte. This will exist as a buried feature of similar proportions around the remaining east side of the motte. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Hope was within the very large Domesday Manor of Worthin. There were 13 berewicks recorded in the Domesday entry and Hope is likely to have been one of these. Lady House Farm probably sits on, or near to, the site of the house and farm of one of Roger fitz Corbet's sub-tenants some of whom are named in the Domesday entry and identified as milites (knights) and a further three unidentified Radman (riders) are enlisted. The motte, adjacent to the farm would probably have been surmounted by a timber tower surviving primarily as a symbol of this military status. The C11/C12 farmstead may have been enclosed with a fence, although seemingly not a ditch and bank. By 1240 Hope was held for half a knights fee served as part of the military service the Corbet's owed the crown. It was usual for such service to be due 'in time of war' so, in time of trouble, it is likely the military man associated with this mound would be elsewhere so this could not function as a military base, although the building on the motte may have offered some protection from thieves.

- 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 ReferenceSJ344022
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  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 89
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 87 (slight)
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 28-9
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 433 (Worthen No. 3)
  • 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. 390 (plan)
  • Eyton, R.W., 1860, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 11 p. 114-15 (tenurial history) online copy


  • King, D.J.C. and Spurgeon, C.J., 1965, 'The mottes in the Vale of Montgomery' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 114 p. 72-3 (plan)
  • 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
  • Chitty, Lily, 1949, 'Subsidiary Castle Sites West of Shrewsbury' Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society Vol. 53 p. 83-90


  • English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Revision, 26/07/1995)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1986, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 31101 (13/10/1986)