Wilmington; The Mount

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameWilmington; The Mount
Alternative Names
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishChirbury With Brompton

The motte and bailey castle 150m north east of Wilmington survives well and is a good example of its class. It will retain archaeological information relating to its construction and occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the castle was constructed will survive sealed beneath the motte and in the ditch fill. Such motte and bailey castles contribute information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and social structure of the countryside during the medieval period.

The monument includes the remains of a motte and bailey castle situated on a low ridge on the south side of Rea Brook. The castle is positioned to overlook the natural valley routeway from Shrewsbury in the north east to Montgomery in the south west. It includes a substantial earthen mound, or motte, circular in plan with a base diameter of 32m standing up to 4.6m high. The circular summit of the mound is 9m in diameter and shows slight traces of mortared masonry walls with scattered stone rubble indicating that a building once occupied the summit. The motte stands on the summit of the ridge, the hillslope surrounding it has been cut back to create a well defined scarp up to 1.8m high enclosing an oval area of roughly level ground. The largest portion of this enclosure extends to the north of the motte and would have functioned as a bailey, a defended area in which the domestic buildings associated with the castle would have stood. It has dimensions of 35m north to south by 42m transversely. The bailey scarp continues to the south of the motte to enclose the tail of the spur, forming a small triangular area of defended ground. Although this could have been used in a similar fashion as the main bailey, it appears to have been principally designed to give additional defensive strength to the motte in this quarter. There are no visible surface traces of ditches surrounding either motte or bailey though they will survive as buried features

(Scheduling Report)

Slight traces of mortared masonry walls are visible on the summit of the motte, and mortared stones litter the slope. Since the motte is remote from vicarage or hall. it seems unlikely that they are the remains of a recent folly (Spurgeon 1963).

A motte 30m in diameter rising 6m above the bailey which is delineated by a scarp slope averaging 0.8m high. (OS FI 1972).

A collapsed stone building on top of the motte at Wilmington appears to have been a viewpoint or a gazebo. On a ridge. The motte is 14ft high and 25ft across the top and is surrounded by a bailey. Both motte and bailey have been damaged; the motte ditch has been filled in, and the defences of the bailey, apart from a 6ft scarp to the N, have been erased, though their line is still traceable. A steep sided spur to the S of the motte may have formed part of the defended area (King and Spurgeon 1965)

Gatehouse Comments

Spurgeon seems to have reconsidered his suggestion, made in 1963, that there was some medieval masonry element to this castle by the time he wrote a joint article with D.J.C. King in 1965. The tenurial history of Wilmington is obscure and identifying a possible occupant of this castle is not possible although it is probably his line died out well before the C13 when the manor had a least two sub-tenants owing non military service to the Lords of Montgomery.

- 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 ReferenceSJ297020
Latitude52.6113395690918
Longitude-3.03889989852905
Eastings329740
Northings302020
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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. 185-6
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 88 (slight)
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 219 (slight)
  • Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford) p. 221
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 66-7
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 422 (Chirbury No. 2)
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 392 (plan)
  • Eyton, R.W., 1860, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 11 p. 166 (tenurial history) online copy

Journals

  • King, D.J.C. and Spurgeon, C.J., 1965, 'The mottes in the Vale of Montgomery' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 114 p. 74-5 (plan)
  • 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
  • Spurgeon, C.J., 1963, Archaeology in Wales Vol. 3 p. 21
  • Chitty, Lily, 1949, 'Subsidiary Castle Sites West of Shrewsbury' Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society Vol. 53 p. 83-90

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. 21 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. 32 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. 42 online copy
  • English Heritage, 1995, Scheduling Papers (Revision, 26/07/1995)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1985, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 18106