Petton Castle Mound

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NamePetton Castle Mound
Alternative Names
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishPetton

Mound of uncertain date or function, 23 metres in diameter and 2 metres high. It has most recently been interpreted as a Bronze Age bowl barrow. It has also been suggested to be a motte and a gazebo. A dagger of unspecified date is alleged to have been found on the mound, the whereabouts of which is now unknown. On the southern side is an ice house which has cut through the quarry ditch (see SJ 42 NW 22). The mound is scheduled but the icehouse is excluded. (PastScape)

Bears little resemblance to motte or barrow. Land falls to east, but not a dominating position. There is no trace of a ditch or of a bailey. The mound has a minimum height of 1.4m and its flat and level top has a diameter of 10m . It is 24m in diameter at the base. From the top of the mound is a good all-round view which suggests a Belvedere or a Gazebo. OS FI 1961.

The mound, which is 1.8m high on the NW and 3m on its SE side, is unlikely to have been the site of a gazebo. The ice house (PRN 19635)) to the south may have avoided the mound as trees were present on it. Slight indications of a ditch on the NW, but no trace of a bailey. A dagger reputedly found in the mound and presented to Shrewsbury Museum cannot be traced. OS FI 1973. (OS Record Card).

This is a small, not particularly impressive motte, with a diameter of approximately 12m across its top, which is flat. The ditch is marked by a band of denser, greener vegetation around the base of the mound, but no bailey was visible. There is a smaller mound on its SW side which is the remains of an ice house (PRN 19635-a listed structure).. The motte is not in good condition. There is some stock erosion, but much more seriously, the motte is falling into the huge gravel pit to its south east....The area of erosion reported by the Field Monument Warden in 1978 is now several metres high and is clearly dangerous

It has been fenced off, but there is probably little that can be done to stop it falling into the pit (Horton Wendy B. 1991. Site Visit Form). (Shropshire HER)

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a Bronze Age bowl barrow, situated on a gentle east facing slope with the ground also falling away to the south east. From this location there are extensive views of the surrounding countryside. Approximately 300m north east of the barrow is a moated site which is the subject of a separate scheduling. The barrow mound is constructed of sand and gravel. It is about 23m in diameter and survives to a height of 2m. Although no longer visible at ground level, a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, surrounds part of the mound. This has become infilled over the years and survives as a buried feature, approximately 3m wide. Next to the barrow on its southern side there is an ice house, which is Listed Grade II. This structure has cut through the ditch surrounding the barrow mound on this side and is not included in the scheduling. A former sand and gravel quarry, immediately to the east of the barrow and the ice house, has also truncated the ditch surrounding the barrow mound and this area is also not included in the scheduling, although the quarry face is included. The fence separating the monument from the quarry is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

The mound, which is currently scheduled as a bowl barrow, is close to the Church of the depopulated village of Petton. The small Domesday manor was held by Ralph of Costentin, who was presumably a knight, and in the C13 the manor was held been tenure of 15 days service in wartime to the lord of Stanwardine. This tenurial history is just about consistent with a small 'castle' of the form of an undefended hall house with an adjacent small motte surmounted with a wooden tower of mainly symbolic value. It is not impossible that a bowl barrow was adapted as a motte.

- 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 ReferenceSJ441262
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  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 126-7
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 88 (slight)
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 45
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 428
  • Pevsner, N., 1958, Buildings of England: Shropshire (London, Penguin) p. 227
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 411 (as 'tumulus')
  • Eyton, R.W., 1860, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 10 p. 308- (tenurial history) 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
  • Chitty, L.F., 1947-8, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 52 p. 249


  • Horton, W.B., 1991, Site Visit Form
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (1983) Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 10613