Rushbury Castle Mound

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

There are earthwork remains

NameRushbury Castle Mound
Alternative NamesBury Field
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishRushbury

The motte castle immediately north east of Church Farm is a well-preserved example of this class of monument, despite some disturbance to the top of the mound and parts of the surrounding ditch, and the truncation of the counterscarp bank. The mound will retain evidence relating to the nature of occupation and the types of structures that were built upon its summit. Organic remains preserved within the buried ground surfaces under the mound and the counterscarp bank, and within the surrounding ditch, will provide valuable evidence about the local environment and the use of the land before and after the motte castle was constructed. The importance of the monument is further enhanced by its proximity and contemporary association with St Peter's Church. The monument remains a prominent feature within the landscape.

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a motte castle, situated to the north east of St Peter's Church. The church was founded in the Anglo-Saxon period but altered following the Norman Conquest. The castle mound occupies sloping ground, falling away in all directions except to the south west. From this position there are extensive views of Ape Dale and the surrounding uplands. The mound is oval in plan, approximately 44m by 58m at its base and about 38m by 48m across its top. The eastern part is steep-sided and stands up to 4m high. In order to create a flat top the south western portion of the mound has only been slightly raised, about 0.5m, above the level of the surrounding ground. A ditch, averaging 5m wide, surrounds the mound. It is most evident on the western and northern sides where it is bounded by a counterscarp bank, about 8m wide. Much of the rest of the ditch has been filled in, but will survive as a buried feature. The south eastern portion of this ditch has been substantially modified by modern landscaping, and as a consequence is not included in the scheduling

The counterscarp bank has been truncated by the creation of a pond to the north east and farm buildings to the south west. (Scheduling Report)

Medieval motte surviving as an earthwork in Bury Field. The motte is oval in plan 44 by 58 metres at the base and 38 by 48 metres at the top. It stands on a slope and is 4 metres high to the east and 0.5 metres high at the south west. There is a ditch 5 metres wide most noticable on the west and north sides where there is a counter scarp bank 8 metres wide. The motte and part of its surrounding ditch are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs. Although no trace of a bailey was seen during field investigation, fragments of a ditch and bank on the east side of the motte, possibly indicating the position of a bailey, were identified on aerial photographs. Scheduled. (PastScape)

Almost circular mount with a slightly concave summit. it is 140ft diameter with a surrounding ditch nearly 30ft wide, very shallow except on the NW where it is 5ft deep with a 2ft revetment (VCH 1908). The motte is 3.2m high on the east and 2.3m high on the NW, where bank 1.2m high on inside and 0.9m high on the outside, forms a ditch. No trace of a bailey (1971. Ordnance Survey Record Card SO59SW2).

The OS Antiquity Model marks the site as a ringwork, but there seems to be no justification for this (I Burrow comment 29/10/76). The site is basically as described by the VCH and the OS, with a dilapidated building on the top. There are slight indications of a much spread bank around the edge of the top of the motte, but it precise character is difficult to asses. No apparent bailey, though earthworks are present in the field to the east(Burrow Ian. 1977-Oct-13. Visit Notes). (Shropshire HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Interesting example of the difficulty in differentiating between low platform type mottes and ringworks with raised interiors. Small, but wealthy, Domesday manor held by Odo of Bernieres from Roger de Lacy. Although Odo had a few manor in Shropshire, some held by him in chief, he does seem to have had a house here, presumably at this site. The placename may suggest a thegnal burh here pre-Conquest and the form of the castle might suggest a reworking of that site into a stronger earthwork at some time post-Conquest.

- 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 ReferenceSO514919
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Copyright Richard Law and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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  • Eyton, R.W., 1857, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 4 p. 94-105 (tenurial history) online copy


  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
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  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, nd, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 20814