Hinckley Castle Hill

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameHinckley Castle Hill
Alternative NamesThe Mount; Hughes Castle
Historic CountryLeicestershire
Modern AuthorityLeicestershire
1974 AuthorityLeicestershire
Civil ParishHinckley

The castle is situated in the centre of the south west Leicestershire town of Hinckley, the bailey surviving as a semi-circular raised piece of ground. The northern part of the site was occupied by the motte, which has now been destroyed and is outside the area of the scheduling. The southern half of the bailey survives as a flat-topped raised area approximately 70m in diameter, rising about 10m above the surrounding land. An internal bank rises 3m above the top of the mound on the eastern side, decreasing to 2m on the south and 1m on the west. An external ditch is up to 18m wide, and water-filled on the eastern side. The castle was built by Hugh de Grantmesnil, Earl of Leicester, and is known to have been in existence by the middle of the 12th century. Historical records indicate that the castle was in decay by 1361 and that the motte was artificially lowered prior to 1811. During these works foundations of the bridge across the motte ditch were uncovered on the north side. Further building work on the north of the motte in 1976 revealed part of the ditch which was shown to contain well-preserved organic remains. The area was subsequently completely redeveloped and now houses a supermarket complex. Excluded from the scheduling are a war memorial, metalled paths, modern walls, a bridge over the ditch on the eastern side and a metalled surface covering the western ditch. The ground beneath all these features, however, is included. (Scheduling report)

Gatehouse Comments

The loss of the motte means sometime the bailey bank is identified as a ringwork, including, apparently in King and Alcock's important 1969 Château Gaillard paper. However it does seem this was a motte and bailey castle.

- 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 ReferenceSP428938
Latitude52.5411987304688
Longitude-1.36916995048523
Eastings442800
Northings293800
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved
Photograph by Andrew Herrett. All rights reserved

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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. 141 (slight)
  • Salter, Mike, 1993, Midlands Castles (Birmingham) p. 50
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 253
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 206
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Wall, C., 1907, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm, (ed), VCH Leicestershire Vol. 1 p. 257 (plan) online copy
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 413-14 online copy
  • Nichols, John, 1782, The history and antiquities of Hinckley, in the County of Leicester online copy

Antiquarian

  • Camden, Wm, 1607, Britannia hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2004)
  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 282
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 21 online copy

Journals

  • Creighton, O.H., 1997, 'Early Leicestershire Castles: Archaeology and Landscape History' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 71 p. 34 online copy
  • Thompson, M.W., 1986, 'Associated monasteries and castles in the Middle Ages: a tentative list' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 143 p. 313
  • Cantor, Leonard, 1977-8, 'The Medieval Castles of Leicestershire' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 53 p. 36 online copy
  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • 1934-5, Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 18 p. 187 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. 207 online copy
  • Harrold, T., 1888, Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 6 p. 326, 330-1 online copy