Gilmorton Motte and Moat

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameGilmorton Motte and Moat
Alternative Names
Historic CountryLeicestershire
Modern AuthorityLeicestershire
1974 AuthorityLeicestershire
Civil ParishGilmorton

Mount and bailey of an early castle (Gilmorton) supplemented on the north-west by a manorial moat. The moat is rectangular with a revetment. The circular mount has a flat top, and an escarpment of 21 ft. into a wide fosse, with a counterscarp of 6 ft; the latter, however, has been destroyed on the eastern side by a footpath. The bailey is small, of horse-shoe shaped plan, situated on the north-west of the fortress, and the fosse, which merges with that around the mount- is clearly marked on its western side only, the other portions are but just traceable, being cut up by two paths and generally levelled by the tread of cattle (VCH)

Almost touching the north-west of the bailey of the castle mount is a small rectangular moat with a revetment. (VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

Some doubt has been thrown on the proposed bailey, the surviving bit of ditch may simple represent a drainage ditch for the ditch around the motte, which is a slightly raised, ditched building platform, or some later water management feature connected to the fish ponds. A square earthwork to the north-west of the motte has been interpreted as a moated successor to to the castle but Creighton reinterprets it a fish-stew. The whole is a modest manorial centre with some slight defensive features and some fishponds. The building were clearly mainly timber throughout the medieval period. In fact this is not untypical for a great many 'castle' sites and Gilmorton is exceptional only in not having a later house destroy the ditched building platform.

- 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 ReferenceSP568879
Latitude52.4856414794922
Longitude-1.16259002685547
Eastings456880
Northings287910
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print

Books

  • Cantor, Leonard, 2003, The Scheduled Ancient Monument of Leicestershire and Rutland (Leicester: Kairos Press) p. 32
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 35
  • Salter, Mike, 1993, Midlands Castles (Birmingham) p. 47
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 253
  • Wall, C., 1907, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm, (ed), VCH Leicestershire Vol. 1 p. 258 (plan) online copy p. 266 (moat)http://archive.org/stream/leicesterhistory01pageuoft#page/266/mode/1up]

Journals

  • Creighton, O.H., 1997, 'Early Leicestershire Castles: Archaeology and Landscape History' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 71 p. 25-7 online copy
  • McWhirr, A.D. and Winter, M.J., 1978-79, 'Medieval Castles Additional Information' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 54 p. 74-75 online copy
  • Winter, M.J., 1978, 'Gilmorton' Medieval Moated Sites Research Group Vol. 26 p. 8
  • Cantor, Leonard, 1977-8, 'The Medieval Castles of Leicestershire' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 53 p. 38 online copy
  • Winter, M.J., 1977-8, 'Earthwork surveys (note)' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 53 p. 78-9 online copy