Mountsorrel Castle

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameMountsorrel Castle
Alternative Namescastrum de Monte Sorello; Muntsorel
Historic CountryLeicestershire
Modern AuthorityLeicestershire
1974 AuthorityLeicestershire
Civil ParishMountsorrel

Medieval motte and bailey comprising motte and second mound and part of bailey ditch surviving as mutilated earthworks. The castle was probably built circa 1080 by Hugh Lupus and came into the possession of Henry II in 1174. The Earl of Chester took it after the battle of Lincoln and later razed it to the ground in 1217. Excavations in 1952 revealed C12 to C13 pottery. Two natural highpoints have been adapted within the castle. The northern of these is a roughly circular motte, 2m to 3m high above the surrounding hill, and about 18m at the base but part quarried away . 50m south of this is a second mound, roughly circular, about 2m high above the surrounding hill and about 15m in diameter at the base. On the south side of the hill is the remaining part of the bailey ditch which survives for a length of 60m and is about 12m wide and 2m deep. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The surviving earthwork show clear signs of being, at least in part, demolished stone buildings and walls. Situated on commanding site overlooking the A6 - the medieval road would have run directly below the 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 ReferenceSK582149
Latitude52.7293090820313
Longitude-1.13968002796173
Eastings458200
Northings314950
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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
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

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

  • Purton, P.F., 2009, A History of the Early Medieval Siege c. 450-1220 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press) p. 277
  • Cantor, Leonard, 2003, The Scheduled Ancient Monument of Leicestershire and Rutland (Leicester: Kairos Press) p. 36
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 42
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 141 (slight)
  • Coulson, Charles, 1994, 'The Castles of the Anarchy' in King, Edmund (ed.), The Anarchy of King Stephen's Reign (Oxford University Press) p. 73-4
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 255
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 262-3
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 250
  • Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 745 (slight)
  • Hoskins, W.G. (ed), 1954, VCH Leicestershire Vol. 2 p. 82
  • Hoskins, W.G., 1949, Midland England (Batsford) p. 84
  • Stenton, Frank, 1932, The First Century of English Feudalism, 1066-1166 (Oxford University Press) p. 251, 286
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Hensmen, 1911, in Dryden, Memorials of Old Leicestershire (London) p. 115-22 (history)
  • Wall, C., 1907, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm, (ed), VCH Leicestershire Vol. 1 p. 246 online copy
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 418 online copy
  • Nichols, J., 1795, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicestershire Vol. 3.1 p. 85-6 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. 279
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 17 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. 31 online copy
  • King, Edmund, 1980, 'Mountsorrel and Its Region in King Stephen's Reign' Huntington Library Quarterly Vol. 44, No. 1 p. 1-10 view online copy (subscription required)
  • 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
  • Cantor, Leonard, 1977-8, 'The Medieval Castles of Leicestershire' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 53 p. 37 online copy
  • Brown, R. Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)
  • 1958, Bulletin of the Loughborough and District Archaeological Society Vol. 1 p. 9-10
  • Brown, R. Allen, 1955, 'Royal Castle-building in England 1154-1216' English Historical Review Vol. 70 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press)) p. 19-64

Primary Sources

  • Stenton, F.M., 1932, The First Century of English Feudalism, 1066-1166 (Oxford: Clarendon Press) p. 250-6, appendix 47
  • Stubbs, W. (ed), 1869, Chronica Magistri Rogeri de Houedene (Rolls Series 51) Vol. 2 p. 65, 101 online copy
  • Hardy, T.D. (ed), 1833, Rotuli litterarum clausarum in turri Londinensi asservati (Record Commission) Vol. 1 p. 23b, 24-25, 122
  • Hardy, T.D. (ed), 1835, Rotuli Litterarum Patentium in Turri Londinensi Asservati (1201-16) (Record Commission) p. 146 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1901, Calendar of Patent Rolls Henry III (1216-25) Vol. 1 p. 64 (grant of castle to Earl of Chester) online copy

Other

  • Ardron, F., 1952, Research on the Area around Mountsorrel Castle (Unpub handwritten notes: Leics SMR)