The motte and bailey castle at Ascott Earl is unusual in being one of a pair of similar monuments in close proximity, a factor which contributed to the subsequent development of the surrounding settlement. The majority of the motte and the adjacent bailey survive despite some later alteration and are visible as upstanding earthworks. The infilling of much of the bailey ditch will, in association with the water-logging from the adjacent river, have enhanced the survival of archaeological and environmental deposits which will provide a source of information relating to the construction, function and occupation of the site as well as the earlier landscape on which it was built. Limited excavation has shown the existence of earlier settlement remains beneath the mound of the motte. These remains will almost certainly also survive beneath the rampart banks of the bailey and quite possibly below the bailey interior as well, providing evidence for earlier precursors of the medieval settlement.
The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of Ascott Earl motte and bailey castle and earlier Iron Age settlement evidence beneath the castle earthworks. The castle is situated immediately south east of the River Evenlode with its bailey extending to the north west to enclose the land between the river and the motte at the edge of the flood plain on a slight natural spur. A second motte and bailey castle lies less than 1km to the east and is the subject of a separate scheduling. The two castles are linked by the linear development of Ascott-under-Wychwood and Ascott Earl along the Shipton Road. The motte has a base diameter of approximately 56m and stands 3.5m high above the present bailey interior. It has a flat summit which measures 45m from north east to south west and 30m transversely