Keys to the Past

Mote Hills motte and bailey castle (Elsdon)

Aerial view of Elsdon Castle.
Copyright Reserved: Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Aerial view of Elsdon Castle. Copyright Reserved: Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Mote Hills is probably the best preserved medieval motte and bailey castle in Northumberland. It was built by Robert de Umfraville, not long after the Norman Conquest and stands on a natural spur of a hill. The impressive mound is 15m high and 80m in diameter across the base and 46m across the top. The motte is surrounded by a strong rampart on the north and east sides, while the west side is protected by steep natural defences. The bailey lies to the north of the motte and is separated from it by a ditch, some 15m wide. The roughly rectangular bailey measures 72m long by 48m wide and is strongly defended on all sides by a massive earthen rampart. Around the whole castle is a shallow ditch. This is a Scheduled Monument protected by law.

Reference number:N9744
Historical period: Roman (43 to 410)
Medieval (1066 to 1540)
UNCERTAIN
Legal status:Scheduled Ancient Monument
Event(s):FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1957; A S Phillips
FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1970; B H Pritchard
FIELD SURVEY, Mote Hills topographical and geophysical survey 1994; HERITAGE SITES AND LANDSCAPE SURVEYS
TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEY, Mote Hills Castle, Elsdon, Northumberland - A topographic survey and geophysical survey 2004



See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Elsdon


Disclaimer -

Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.