Rorrington, Chirbury

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameRorrington, Chirbury
Alternative NamesThe Mount
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishChirbury With Brompton

The motte castle at The Mount cottage survives well and is a good example of its class. It will retain archaeological information relating to the materials and techniques used in its construction and to the date and nature of its occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was built 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. The Mount cottage motte is one of a series of small motte castles strategically positioned to control re-entrant valleys on the south side of the main valley pass between Shrewsbury and Montogmery. Considered as a group they contribute important information concerning the management of this important routeway between England and Wales during the medieval period.

The monument includes a small motte castle situated on the northern edge of a small steep sided valley. It includes an earthen mound up to 25m in diameter and 2.5m high positioned on the precipitous edge of the valley to make maximum defensive use of the natural topography, the natural slope forming the south west side of the motte. The flat summit of the motte is circular in plan with a diameter of 16m. A ditch 6m wide and 0.4m deep is visible around the north east quarter of the motte. The ditch has been removed by the excavation of a platform for the construction of a cottage and outbuildings around the south east quarter and would never have existed around the west, where the valley slopes provide sufficient defence. The cottage and outbuildings which lie adjacent to the monument are not included within the scheduling, their platform being cut through the ditch. (Scheduling Report)

At Rorrington is a small mound adjacent to a farm-house, probably a tumulus (VCH 1908)

A motte situated on the edge of a steep sided valley

It stands 8ft above a ditch now 2ft deep, and has a top about 42ft in diameter. There is no sign of any bailey, nor does the adjoining small-holding occupy a possible site for one (Spurgeon and King). (Shropshire HER)

Gatehouse Comments

The Domesday manor was split into two part held by Roger and Robert Corbet respectively as overlords. Presumably the Mount represent the holding of a sub tenant although Eyton records in the C13 their tenancy service was providing supplies to the watchmen of Montgomery rather than direct military service. The motte, adjacent to an undefended house, can only have been symbolic although probably surmounted by a tower which would have allowed the estate to be overviewed (Robert's part of the manor recorded in Domesday, held by Leofric, had 7 slaves. NB Leofric is a name associated with 142 Domesday places before the Conquest and 21 after - these were almost certainly not all the same person)

- 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 ReferenceSJ303004
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 136-7
  • 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)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 422 (Chirbury No. 6)
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 411 (where called 'tumulus')
  • Eyton, R.W., 1860, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 11 p. 93-4 (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. 76
  • 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
  • 1918-19, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 8 p. 161


  • English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Revision, 19/05/1995)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1985, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 18107