CASTLEMORTON CASTLE

Castlemorton Castle, which is also known as Morton Folliot Castle or Castle Tump, was probably raised in the mid-twelfth century following the outbreak of the Anarchy. It was an earth and timber motte-and-bailey fortification and remained in use until the late thirteenth century.

History

 

Castlemorton Caste, which is also known as Morton Folliot Castle or Castle Tump, was probably raised in the mid-twelfth century during the Anarchy, the civil war between Stephen and Matilda over the English succession. Its owners at this time were the Folliot family and it is likely they fortified the site to protect their interests given the political turbulence of the time. Worcestershire was particularly affected by the war as it lay close to the frontier between the two warring factions.

 

The castle was an earth and timber motte-and-bailey fortification. The oval motte would have been topped by a timber tower and/or palisade. The bailey extended to the north although its precise extent is uncertain as, at some point later in the castle's life, a new rectangular bailey was created partly encroaching on the motte's defences. A series of earthworks believed to be fishponds may have been contemporary with the castle.

 

Little is known about the later history of the castle. It clearly survived the widescale destruction of unauthorised castles undertaken by Henry II and was still standing in the mid-thirteenth century when it was sold to Richard de Berking, Abbot of Westminster. He appointed a chaplain to the site with the specific duty of holding a daily service in the castle chapel. The fortification was last mentioned in the late thirteenth century and probably went out of use around that time.

 

 

Bibliography

 

Allcroft, A.H (1908). Earthworks of England. London.

Bradbury, J (2012). Stephen and Matilda. The History Press, Stroud.

Cornish, J.B (1906). Ancient Earthworks.

Historic England (2011). Castle Tump, List entry 1005505. Historic England, London.

King, C.D.J (1983). Castellarium anglicanum: an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands.  Kraus International Publications.

Pettifer, A (1995). English Castles, A guide by counties. Boydell Press, Woodbridge.

Salter, M (2000). Castles of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Folly Publications, Malvern.

What's There?

Castlemorton Castle survives as a series of earthworks that are freely accessible.

Castlemorton Castle. Two views of the castle site from the west.  The Inner Bailey extended to the north (right) of the motte but its extent is uncertain as the site was later modified. An Outer Bailey may have occupied the site of the sewage farm.

Motte. The oval shaped motte would have originally been topped with a timber palisade and/or tower.

The Anarchy. Castlemorton Castle was probably built in the early years of the Anarchy when the site was on the frontier between the two warring factions.

Motte Ditch. The motte was surrounded by a dry ditch with a counterscarp bank.

Getting There

Castlemorton Castle is found off an unnamed road accessed from Church Road. There is a small lay-by opposite the school.

Castlemorton Castle

WR13 6BG

52.032512N 2.301257W