Middleton Motte

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameMiddleton Motte
Alternative NamesMiddleton Mount
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishMiddleton

Motte and bailey castle. The motte is 45m in diameter and 10m high with a platform on the top 9m across. It is encircled by a ditch 8m wide and 2,5m deep. The bailey adjouned the motte on the eastern side and was sub rectangular in shape, 58m by 36m. Overlying the bailey ditch on the south western side where it joins the motte is a latter pond. It is possible that the castle was built soon after the Norman conquest, fragments of pottery recovered during excavations show that it was occupied during the first half of the 12th century. It may be one of the unlicensed castles built during the civil war between Stephen and Maud. (PastScape)

Excavations 1987 (Ashwin) showed bailey on east with underlying Late Saxon occupation, within larger rectangular enclosure first noted by R.R. Clarke, perhaps prehistoric or Iron Age. (Norfolk HER)

Gatehouse Comments

It seems clear this was a Saxon high status site, possibly in an earlier fortification. The date the Norman's altered this into a motte is not known but assuming that it was during the Anarchy has more to do with dubious received wisdom than actual evidence.

- 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 ReferenceTF660164
Latitude52.7200813293457
Longitude0.457599997520447
Eastings566070
Northings316430
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
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Martin Pearman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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Books

  • Liddiard, Robert, 2005, 'The Castle Landscape of Anglo-Norman East Anglia: A Regional Perspective' in Harper-Bill, C. (ed), Medieval East Anglia (Woodbridge, Boydell) p. 33-51
  • Cushion, B. and Davison, A., 2003, Earthworks of Norfolk (Dereham: East Anglian Archaeology 104) p. 172-3 (plan)
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of East Anglia (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 59
  • Liddiard, R., 2000, Landscapes of Lordship (British Archaeological Reports British Series 309) p. 33-5, 82-5
  • Wade-Martins, P. (ed), 1999, Norfolk From The Air Vol. 2 (Norfolk Museums Service) p. 41
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 160 (mention)
  • Rogerson, Andrew, 1994, 'Castles' in Wade-Martins, P, (ed), An Historical Atlas of Norfolk (2edn Norwich; Norfolk Museums) p. 68-9
  • Margeson, S., Seiller, F. and Rogerson, A., 1994, The Normans in Norfolk (Norfolk Museums Service) p. 30, 31
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 307
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1962, The Buildings of England: Norfolk: North-West and South (Penguin) p. 258
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Blomefield, F., 1808, 'Freebridge Hundred: Middleton' An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk Vol. 9 p. 20-34 (tenurial history) online transcription

Journals

  • Liddiard, Robert, 2006, 'Early castles in the Medieval Landscape of East Anglia' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 243-50
  • Ashwin, T., 2001, 'Middleton Mount - Excavations in and around the Eastern Bailey of Middleton Castle' Norfolk Archaeology Vol. 43 (3) p. 645-56