England - West Midlands - Shropshire - Winsbury Castle Mound

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Winsbury Motte. Rescue excavations in 1961 by the Ministry of Works before its destruction showed this mutilated motte to have been approximately 80 feet in diameter and 12-15 feet above original ground level. It was surrounded by a ditch up to 13 feet deep. A 19th century observer (Clark) suggests that the farm occupies a base-court but no evidence for one could be found (if some slight earthworks to the S of the farm be excepted which would make it impossibly large). The earliest pottery found was 13th century, suggesting that this is one of the mottes refortified in 1224 by order of Henry III.

The possible existence of a small Romano-British settlement may be indicated by the discovery below the motte of a straight, U-shaped ditch, 5 1/2 feet deep which was traced for 65 feet. It contained a mortarium, a flagon rim and a spindle whorl (Addyman).

This motte has been completely destroyed and its site is occupied by a dutch barn. No trace of the RB Settlement can be recognised nor the "slight earthworks" noted by Addyman unless a few slight building platforms of late date in the field centred SO24599818 refer (Ordnance Survey Field Investigator 1 DJC 06-MAR-73).

This location falls within the area mapped from aerial photographs by RCHME's Marches Uplands Mapping Project, but no features were recorded on the site of the motte by that survey. Possible features associated with Medieval settlement were recorded to the south (SO 29 NW 54). (RCHME: Marches Uplands Mapping Project). (PastScape)

In the 1255 Hundred Roll the manor is recorded as being held by the heirs of Walter le Fleming for half a knights fee and three weeks castle guard at Montgomery in wartime. The motte was not a large one and must have functioned mainly as the base for a timber tower mainly of symbolic value of the military status of the tenant living in the buildings long lost under the modern adjacent farm

The Winsbury placename may well suggest that those lost buildings were the hall and chamber of a Saxon thegn defended with a palisade, or even a hedge and with the motte added post-Conquest.