Tenbury Wells Castle Tump

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameTenbury Wells Castle Tump
Alternative NamesBurford Castle
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishBurford

The motte castle on the flood plain of the River Teme, 150m west of Teme Bridge survives well and is a good example of its class. It will contain archaeological information relating to its construction and occupation and environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed. Its position on the flood plain may have resulted in the preservation of organic materials sealed in the waterlogged deposits beneath the mound and beneath the causeway. The motte is one of a group of such monuments which lie along the valley of the River Teme, positioned to control crossing places. As such, it offers valuable information relating to the management of the valley during the early medieval period.

The monument includes a small motte castle and an earthen causeway standing on the flood plain of the River Teme. The motte is visible as a well defined earthen mound 25m in diameter at base rising 3.6m high to a level summit 4m in diameter. There is no ditch surrounding the mound, rather it stands on a slight island raised 0.8m above the surrounding level of the flood plain. This raised platform is linked to the northern edge of the flood plain by the remains of an earthen causeway which runs from the north east edge of the platform as a low spread bank 8m wide and 0.4m high, orientated north east to south west. (Scheduling Report)

One of a group of Norman earthwork castles controlling crossing points in the Teme valley, Castle Tump survives well and is likely to contain well-preserved, waterlogged archaeological remains. (Shropshire HER)

Gatehouse Comments

The Town of Tenbury Wells is in Worcestershire but this motte is now just over the county boundary and in Burford parish, Shropshire. The 1884 OS map shows the county boundary to loop around the tump, away from its modern line following the modern course of the river Teme, so as to include the tump in Worcestershire. Gatehouse suspects the boundary follows an old course of the river which would have put the tump at the neck of a looping meander in a naturally moated site. A fragment of this meander survives as a drainage ditch up to Lineage Farm, the rest roughly following the line of the modern A456 road. Although no bailey is recorded the lost meander would have enclosed a area which would have been a good sized bailey (approx 300m by 75m), well protected by the natural river defences. The change in river course and the heavy erosion of the earthworks make this castle seem rather smaller and less significant than was probably the case. Philip Barker writes there is some doubt as to this being a motte although he believed it was one, otherwise seems to be completely accepted as a motte.

- 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 ReferenceSO594686
Latitude52.3141784667969
Longitude-2.59697008132935
Eastings359400
Northings268620
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Jeremy Bolwell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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Books

  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 45-6
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 88
  • Remfry, Paul Martin, 1999, Nine castles of Burford Barony, 1048 to 1308 (SCS Publishing: Worcestershire) p. 34
  • Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford) p. 194, 210
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 59
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 507 (Worcestershire)
  • Montgomerie, 1924, in Page, Wm and Willis-Bund, J.W. (eds), VCH Worcestershire Vol. 4 p. 426

Journals

  • 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 (placed in Worcestershire)
  • Phillips and Southam, 1902, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society (ser3) Vol. 2 p. 162-3
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 211 (in Shropshire) online copy
  • Clark, G.T., 1880, The Builder Vol. 38 p. 251

Other

  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk West Midlands Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 23 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 23 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 20 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 33 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 31 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 32 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 42 online copy
  • Dalwood, H. and Bryant, V. (eds), 2005, The Central Marches Historic Towns Survey 1992-6 Download online copy
  • English Heritage, 1994, Scheduling Papers (Revision, 17/05/1994)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1987, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 32457 (11/05/1987)