Corfton; The Mount

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameCorfton; The Mount
Alternative NamesDiddlebury
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishDiddlebury

The Mount motte and bailey castle survives well and is a fine example of its class. It will retain archaeological information concerning the methods used in its construction and the date and nature of its occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved on the old land surface beneath the motte and in the fills of the ditches. Such motte and bailey castles provide valuable information concerning the settlement pattern and social organisation of the countryside during the medieval period and in this respect the proximity of the remains of a small chapel, Listed Grade II, incorporated into the modern farm buildings is of interest.

The monument includes 'The Mount' motte and bailey castle, situated on the north east end of a low ridge overlooking Corve Dale to the south east. It includes a motte, oval in plan, measuring at its base 50m north east to south west by 42m north west to south east and standing to a height of 5.5m. The flat summit of the motte is similarly oval in plan with dimensions of 37m by 25m and has a well defined bank around its outer edge. This is best preserved around the southern half of the motte where it remains up to 4m wide and 1.2m high. The ditch surrounding the mound is well defined around the north and east sides where it averages 6m wide and 1m deep; it will survive as a buried feature of similar proportions around the remaining south west side of the motte. Material from the ditch has been thrown outwards to form a low counterscarp bank 4m wide and up to 0.9m high along the outer edge of the ditch. A roughly rectangular bailey, which would have provided protection for the domestic buildings associated with the motte, is attached to the east side of the motte. It occupies ground sloping to the north and east and has overall dimensions of approximately 120m north west to south east by 100m transversely with an enclosed area of approximately 1ha

The bailey perimeter earthworks can be recognised throughout most of their extent. Around the south east side they comprise a well defined ditch averaging 7m wide and 1.5m high on its inner north side, 1.3m on its outer. This lies on a south west to north east alignment and runs for approximately 70m. At its west end it is overlain by a small modern farm building which obscures the relationship between the ditch and the motte, although this relationship will be preserved beneath the building. A causeway 3m wide crosses the ditch 14m from the east face of the building. At its downslope, eastern end, the ditch widens out to form a roughly rectangular hollow 20m north west to south east by 12m transversely. From this point the inner scarp of the ditch turns to the north west, running for approximately 100m as a steep scarp up to 3m high forming the east side of the bailey. A sunken lane runs parallel to this side of the bailey, possibly following the alignment of an outer ditch. At its northern end this scarp turns to the south west as a well defined scarp 1.5m high, flanked by an outer ditch 8m wide and 0.5m deep. Both scarp and ditch fade out after approximately 100m, the scarp curving at its western end in towards the motte. The relationship between this earthwork and the motte is obscured by a later hedgeline. The bailey is split into two portions by a low north west facing scarp 0.5m high, which lies on a south west to north east alignment joining the outer bank of the motte with the eastern side of the bailey. The interior ground surface of both parts of the bailey contain a number of irregular earthworks which probably relate to the occupation of the bailey. (Scheduling Report)

The damaged state of the motte has led to its being regarded as a ringwork castle (King and Alcock 1969), but this has been rejected. Situated on NE end of ridge with rectangular bailey on ridge end slopes. Sub circular motte 50m NE/SW and 42m NW/SE base diameter. Six metres above base of ditch, and has low bank around S half of summit. Ditch remains on N and E, 8m wide and 1m deep with low outer bank. Bailey 70m by 50m with low scarp on N and ditch 7m wide by 1m deep on S, with causeway towards W end. (Shropshire HER ref OS record card 1973)

Gatehouse Comments

Modest manor when recorded in Domesday but held from Roger de Lacy by Herbert de Furches who had a handful of other manors. The manors appear to be held for a service of two or three knights fee but this fairly sizeable motte and bailey may represent Herbert's caput.

- 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 ReferenceSO497846
Latitude52.457820892334
Longitude-2.74146008491516
Eastings349710
Northings284680
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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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Books

  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 68-9
  • 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. 22
  • Salter, Mike, 1988, The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 73 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 424
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 394
  • Eyton, R.W., 1857, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 5 p. 44- (tenurial history) online copy

Journals

  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • 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

Other

  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk West Midlands Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 24 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 24 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 22 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 34 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 33 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 33 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 43 online copy
  • English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Revision, 26/07/1995)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1983, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 13505