Brampton Motte

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameBrampton Motte
Alternative NamesThe Mote
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishBrampton

A Medieval motte survives as an oval earthwork, although it may have been modified in the 19th Century. The motte is dated to the 12th or 13th Century and is cut out of the higher end of a long ridge. It comprises an oval-shaped summit plateau measuring circa 36m by 18m; 12m downslope there is an encircling ditch circa 5m wide and up to 3m deep. The site was used as a beacon in 1468 and a statue to the 7th Earl of Carlisle was erected on the summit in the 19th Century, at which time the mound may have been further landscaped. (PastScape)

Despite the addition of a statue to the monument's summit in 1864, Mote Castle mound medieval motte survives reasonably well. Its defensive earthworks in particular remain well preserved. The hilltop is a rare example of the site of a motte castle which was later used as a beacon, and it will retain significant archaeological evidence of both these phases of use.

The monument includes The Mote Castle mound, a 12th/13th century medieval motte castle located on the summit of Castle Hill in Brampton which was later used as the site of a signalling beacon during the 15th century. The motte is artificially cut out of the higher end of a long ridge and consists of an oval-shaped summit plateau measuring c.36m by 18m. About 12m downslope there is an encircling ditch c.5m wide and up to 3m deep which is flanked by an outer bank measuring c.5m wide and up to 2m high. There are extensive views to the west, north and east from the summit of the hill and it is for this reason that the hilltop was later used as the site of a beacon. This system of beacons was created to warn of impending attack by Scottish invaders and was developed from the time of Henry III (1216-72). A list of beacons dated to 1468 indicates that the beacon at Brampton connected with a system of beacons which ran along the Tyne valley to the east. (Scheduling Report)

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 ReferenceNY533612
Latitude54.9439392089844
Longitude-2.72996997833252
Eastings353320
Northings561270
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Grimsditch, Brian, Nevell, Michael and Nevell, Richard, 2012, Buckton Castle and the Castles of the North West England (University of Salford Archaeological Monograph 2) p. 105
  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 21
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 137
  • Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press) p. 33-4
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 83
  • Pevsner, N., 1967, Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland (Harmondsworth: Penguin) p. 76 (rather misleading)
  • Curwen, J.F., 1913, Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 13) p. 39
  • Collingwood, W.G., 1901, 'Remains of the pre-Norman Period' in H.Arthur Doubleday (ed), VCH Cumberland Vol. 1 p. 292 online copy
  • Hutchinson, W., 1794, The History of the County of Cumberland (Carlisle) Vol. 1 p. 127 online copy
  • Nicholson, J. and Burn, B., 1777, The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland (London) Vol. 2 p. 493 online copy

Antiquarian

Journals

  • Collingwood, W.G., 1905, 'Brampton Mote' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 5 p. 290-1 online copy
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 202 online copy

Other

  • Constable, Christopher, 2003, Aspects of the archaeology of the castle in the north of England C 1066-1216 (Doctoral thesis, Durham University) Available at Durham E-Theses Online