Colebatch Motte

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameColebatch Motte
Alternative Names
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishColebatch

The motte castle at Colebatch survives well and is a good example of its class. It will retain archaeological material relating to its construction and occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath the motte and in the ditch fill. Such motte castles, when considered as a single site, or as part of a broader medieval landscape, provide valuable information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and social structure of the countryside during the medieval period.

The monument includes the remains of a small motte castle situated in the valley bottom on the west side of a tributary of the River Kemp in the village of Colebatch. It includes a well defined steep sided mound with a base diameter of 22m rising 5.5m high to a rounded summit with a diameter of 5m. The surrounding ditch, from which material would have been quarried for the construction of the mound, has been almost completely filled in but remains visible as a slight surface depression up to 2.5m wide around the south west quarter of the motte and will be preserved as a buried feature of similar proportions around the remaining sides of the motte. (Scheduling Report)

Small castle mount at Colebatch, 19 ft high, surrounded by a ditch now almost levelled. Also listed (incorrectly) under Tumuli (VCH 1908).

Visited 12.5.1929 - certainly a small motte commanding local valleys, partially removed on the west side (Annotated Record Map L F Chitty).

A small steep-sided motte with base diameter of 24.0m, height of 5.5m and summit diameter of 5.0m. There are now no traces of a surrounding ditch. The motte slopes are covered with small trees and two firs grow upon the summit (F1 ASP 06-DEC-73). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Colebatch was a township with the extensive manor of Lydbury North held by the bishop of Hereford. Does Colebatch represent the site of house of one of the eight Radmans (riders) recorded in Domesday? The tenant of Colebatch almost certainly owed some sort of service to the bishop, possibly including castle-guard at Bishop's Castle and the motte here, possibly surmounted by a timber tower, probably mostly represents that status. There is no evidence of a bailey and, presumably, the actual house and farm building were undefended but stood adjacent.

- 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 ReferenceSO320871
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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

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  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 65
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 87 (slight)
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 219 (slight)
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 21
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 421
  • Bird, A.J., 1977, History on the Ground (University of Wales Press) p. 100
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 383, 411 (plan)
  • Eyton, R.W., 1860, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 11 p. 223- (tenurial history) online copy


  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1963, 'Early castles in Wales and the Marches: a preliminary list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 112 p. 77-124


  • English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Affirmation, 19/05/1995)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1986, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 2009