Hallaton Castle Hill Camp

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameHallaton Castle Hill Camp
Alternative Names
Historic CountryLeicestershire
Modern AuthorityLeicestershire
1974 AuthorityLeicestershire
Civil ParishHallaton

Medieval motte and bailey with an additional rectangular enclosure surviving as an earthwork. Excavation revealed 'Norman' pottery, a quern stone, leather and wood objects and evidence of iron working. The conical motte is approximately 50m in diameter and 7.5m high from the bottom of the ditch, with a small flat area at the summit only a few metres across. The encircling ditch is up to 3m deep and 8m wide. The horse-shoe shaped bailey encloses an area of about 60m by 30m, and is bounded by a ditch up to 2m deep and 5m wide and an inner bank up to 2m high. An additional rectangular enclosure on the north of the motte, 35m by 25m, is defined by a ditch which survives in places to a depth of 0.75m. On the south side of the motte is a further ditch 5m wide with a bank 8m wide and 0.75m high which projects south for 40m. A series of depressions on the summit of the motte are the result of C19 excavations. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Unusually 600m from church and most probably a new site. The chosen site has some defensive features but is overlooked to the west. Built not on the top of a rise, but on a false crest to be as visible from the old Leicester Way as possible. If this has been a purely defensive structure it would have been built on the true crest, where the defenders would still have full visibility but the interior of the bailey would be hidden from observation (allowing the size of a garrison to be kept secret). It actual location shows the castle off to the fullest as a display of wealth and status.

- 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 ReferenceSP780967
Latitude52.5624198913574
Longitude-0.850629985332489
Eastings478000
Northings296700
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Copyright Tim Heaton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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Books

  • Cantor, Leonard, 2003, The Scheduled Ancient Monument of Leicestershire and Rutland (Leicester: Kairos Press) p. 33
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 36
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 138
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 253
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 238
  • Hoskins, W.G., 1949, Midland England (Batsford) p. 55
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 88 online copy
  • Thompson, A. Hamilton, 1912, Military architecture in England during the Middle Ages (OUP) p. 51 online copy
  • Wall, C., 1907, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm, (ed), VCH Leicestershire Vol. 1 p. 212, 259-260 (plan) online copy

Journals

  • Speight, Sarah, 2008, 'Castles as Past Culture: Living with Castles in the Post-Medieval World' Cha^teau Gaillard Vol. 23 p. 385-94 (slight)
  • Creighton, O.H., 1997, 'Early Leicestershire Castles: Archaeology and Landscape History' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 71 p. 31-2, 34 online copy
  • Cantor, Leonard, 1977-8, 'The Medieval Castles of Leicestershire' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 53 p. 36 online copy
  • Braun, Hugh, 1937, Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 1 p. 140, 155
  • Gould, I.C., 1901, 'Early Defensive Earthworks' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 7 p. 15-38 esp. 32-3 online copy
  • 1891, Leicestershire and Rutland notes and queries Vol. 1 p. 170-176
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 207 online copy
  • Hill, J.H. and Dibbin, H.A., 1882, Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 5 p. 72, 75-6 online copy
  • Dibbin, H.A., 1876-78, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London Vol. 7 p. 316-321 (unprofitable excavation report)
  • Thompson, J., 1863, Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 1 p. 211