Dunham Massey; The mount

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameDunham Massey; The mount
Alternative NamesDunham Massie; Dunham Massy; Duneham
Historic CountryCheshire
Modern AuthorityTrafford
1974 AuthorityGreater Manchester
Civil ParishDunham Massey

Medieval motte and bailey in Dunham Park. It was held by Hamo de Masci against Henry II in 1173. Surviving features include a moat and mount at the north-west corner of Dunham Massey Hall. The mount survives to a height of 2m and has a diameter of 24m. Has been altered for use as a prospect mound. The moat has been flooded as an ornamental lake; the Hall probably occupies the bailey. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The documented castle of Hamo de Masci may have been the hastily erected motte and bailey at Bowden Watch Hill, but that was not Hamo's caput. Clearly the alterations to the landscape at Dunham Massey means the C12 castle is much altered but there is no reason to doubt at castle here, despite some sources referring to this mound as post-medieval.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ734874
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  • Grimsditch, Brian, Nevell, Michael and Nevell, Richard, 2012, Buckton Castle and the Castles of the North West England (University of Salford Archaeological Monograph 2) p. 107
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Lancashire and Cheshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 17
  • Nevell, Mike, (ed), 1997, The Archaeology of Trafford (Trafford Metropolitan Borough with University of Manchester Archaeological Unit) p. 33
  • Cullen, P.W. and Hordern, R., 1986, Castles of Cheshire (Crossbow Books) p. 12
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 67
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 223
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 178
  • Ridgway, Maurice Hill, 1958, 'Medieval Castles' in Sylvester, D. and Nulty, G. (eds), The Historical Atlas of Cheshire (Cheshire Community Council) p. 24-5
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Hall, C., 1909, Dunham Massey Hall, Cheshire - An account of its history
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 171 online copy
  • Ormerod, G., 1882 (2edn), History of the County Palatine and city of Chester (London) Vol. 1 p. 533
  • Ormerod, G., 1819, History of the County Palatine and city of Chester (London) Vol. 1 p. 398-406 online copy


  • Brown, R. Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)
  • 1925, Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society Vol. 42 p. 53-60
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 201 online copy

Guide Books

  • Dunham Massey Hall Guide Book (National Trust)

Primary Sources

  • Stubbs, Wm. (ed), 1867, Gesta Regis Henrici Secundi Benedicti Abbatis; Chronicle of the Reigns of Henry II and Richard I. A.D. 1169-1192 (London: Rolls Series 49) Vol. 1 p. 48 online copy


  • Woodside, Robert, 1998, Archaeological survey of the Dunham Massey Estate (Survey. National Trust?)
  • Green, P., 1983, The History of the Garden at Dunham Massey (Unpublished NT report or Thesis)