Cuckney Castle Hill

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameCuckney Castle Hill
Alternative NamesCukeney
Historic CountryNottinghamshire
Modern AuthorityNottinghamshire
1974 AuthorityNottinghamshire
Civil ParishCuckney

Thomas de Cuckney built a castle at Cuckney in Stephen's reign (1135 - 1154). The motte is at the western end of the churchyard. The north boundary of the churchyard follows an earth bank. A bank in the churchyard, running south from the northern boundary and west of the church tower may have divided the inner and outer bailey. There are no remains of the east or south sides. An adulterine castle. (PastScape ref. Barley, 1951)

The remains of a motte and bailey. St Mary's church has been erected within the bailey and this, together with subsequent graves, has destroyed any surface evidence of former internal structures. The perimeter ditch is well preserved to the west of the motte but there is no trace of the bailey ditch to the east suggesting the possibility that the work was never completed. (PastScape ref. Field Investigators Comments–F1 FDC 12-MAR-74)

Et praedictus Tho. nutritus fuit in curia domini regis, et post mortem patris sui Richari, tenuit illam terram per praedictum servitium, de praedicto rege, bene et in pace usque ad veterem guerram, et tunc fecit sibi castellum in praedicta terra de Cukeney. (And the said Thomas was educated in the court of his lord the King, and after the death of his father Richard the land was held by the above mentioned service for the said king well in peace until the old war, when he made a castle in the said land of Cukeney.) ( Monasticon Anglicanum translation by Philip Davis)

Gatehouse Comments

Speight questions the adulterine attribution of the castle. The church within the castle earthworks may well suggest this is a Saxon thegnal site adapted as a Norman castle and, if so an C11 date may be likely. However, the medieval foundation history of Abbey of Welbeck in the Monasticon Anglicanum does state the castle was built in the 'old war' (The Anarchy) so it seem reasonable to suggest some building of fortifications do date from The Anarchy.

- 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 ReferenceSK565714
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Photo by Andrew Herrett All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Photo by Andrew Herrett All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Photo by Andrew Herrett All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Photo by Andrew Herrett All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Wright, James, 2008, Castles of Nottinghamshire (Nottinghamshire County Council) p. 62
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 85
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 203 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 380
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 217
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 161-2
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 447-8 online copy


  • Speight, Sarah, 2004, ''Religion in the Bailey: Charters, Chapels and the Clergy' Cha^teau Gaillard Vol. 21 p. 271-80
  • Speight, Sarah, 1994, 'Early Medieval Castles in Nottinghamshire' Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire Vol. 98 p. 66-7
  • Thompson, M.W., 1986, 'Associated monasteries and castles in the Middle Ages: a tentative list' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 143 p. 317
  • Barley, M.W., 1951, 'Cuckney church and castle' Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire Vol. 55 p. 26-29
  • Oswald, Adrian, 1939 , 'Some unrecorded earthworks in Nottinghamshire' Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire Vol. 43 p. 7

Primary Sources

  • Dugdale, William (Caley, J., Ellis, H. and Bandinel, B. (eds)), 1817-30 (originally pub. 1655-73), Monasticon Anglicanum (London) Vol. 6.2 p. 873 online copy


  • Gaunt, Andy, 2008, Topographic and gravestone surveys (NCC)
  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 166-9, 477-8 online copy