Record Details

NHER Number:3394
Type of record:Monument
Name:Middleton Mount, a motte and bailey castle


A motte and bailey castle that was probably constructed soon after the Norman Conquest on the site of a Late Saxon estate centre. An excavation in 1987 revealed traces of Late Saxon occupation underneath the bailey. Fragments of Late Saxon pottery and a medieval seal have been found on the site. Earthworks of the motte, bailey and rectangular enclosures of uncertain date are visible on aerial photographs.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 6612 1639
Map Sheet:TF61NE

Full description

Castle Mound, not tumulus as on old series six inch map.

Excavations 1987 (S3) showed bailey on east with underlying Late Saxon occupation, within larger rectangular enclosure first noted by R.R. Clarke (NCM), perhaps prehistoric or Iron Age.
Also see (S17).

1993. Earthwork Survey.
See plan and sections (S4). Published in (S18).

Late Saxon sherd found.

Medieval seal found.
See details, schedule and press cuttings in file.
E. Rose (NLA), March 1993.

Scheduled area enlarged in 1999.

(S2) argues that Middleton was an Old English estate centre.
D. Gurney (NLA), 14 May 2003.

Site has recently been acquired by the Norfolk Archaeological Trust, who have taken on the management responsibility for the monument.
H. Paterson (A&E), 13 September 2006.

January 2008. Norfolk NMP
Earthworks relating to Middleton Mount, a medieval motte and bailey castle, are visible on aerial photographs (S6-S16). The motte itself is present as a substantial cone-shaped earthwork mound, although on many aerial photographs it is obscured by trees. It has a diameter of approximately 49m and is enclosed by a circular ditch. The aerial photographs appear to show the motte ditch as being about 5m wide, but a previous earthworks survey (S4) has shown that it is actually up to 11m wide. This discrepancy is due to vegetation cover masking the full width of the ditch on the examined aerial photographs. To the east of the motte, the area of the bailey is defined by an incomplete C-shaped ditch cropmark (S10, S15). The ditch is up to 6m wide and defines the small bailey, the presence of which was confirmed by excavation in 1987 (S3). The southern end of the bailey ditch appears to align with an existing pit or pond earthwork. It is possible that this feature is a surviving part of the bailey ditch. A second pit or pond earthwork is present immediately to the north of the motte. Earthworks of ditches and banks are present to the east and south of the motte defining enclosures. The area to the south of the bailey is divided into three rectangular enclosures between 39m and 76m wide. The western two of these enclosures are cut diagonally by a ditch that appears to relate to a different phase. Adjoining the southeast corner of the three enclosures is a small rectangular enclosure with internal dimensions of 37m by 16m. It is possible that all of these enclosures are of medieval to post medieval date. The outer rectangular enclosure has previously been assigned a possible prehistoric date (see first entry above and S3). The earthworks of the enclosures were destroyed between 1987 and 1991 when the area to the south, east and north of the motte was covered by housing developments (S11-S12). Only the area of the bailey and the motte itself remain undeveloped (S13-S14) and they are protected as a scheduled monument (S5).
J. Albone (NMP), 29 January 2008.

Monument Types

  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC? to 42 AD?)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BAILEY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOTTE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOTTE AND BAILEY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PIT? (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POND (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • SEAL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF302.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 61 NE 4 [2].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: 1992. Eastern Daily Press. 15 April.
---Unpublished Document: Davison, A.J.. Middleton Mount.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1989. Bird's eye view. 22 August.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1991-1994. [Articles on the handing over of deeds and the preservation of Middleton Mount].
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1991-1994. [Articles on the handing over of deeds and the preservation of Middleton Mount].
---Newspaper Article: West Norfolk Advertiser. Past unearthed at homes site.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 542.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Middleton.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Photograph: EMF, EMG.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF302.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF302.
<S1>Article in Serial: Clarke, W. G. 1913. Norfolk Barrows. The Antiquary. Vol XLIX pp 416-423. p 420.
<S2>Monograph: Liddiard, R.. 2002. Landscapes of lordship: Norman castles and the countryside in medieval Norfolk, 1066-1200.. pp 33-35, 82-85.
<S3>Article in Serial: Ashwin, T. 2001. Middleton Mount: Excavations in and around the Eastern Bailey of Middleton Castle by Andrew Rogerson, 1987. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt IV pp 645-655.
<S4>Illustration: Cushion, B. 1993. Plan and section of Middleton Mount SMR 3394. Film. 1:500.
<S5>Unpublished Document: English Heritage. 1999. Schedule Report.
<S6>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1978. NHER TF 6616C-E (NLA 69/AMF5-7) 21-SEP-1978.
<S7>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1981. NHER TF 6616F-H (NLA 115/ARD9-11) 10-AUG-1981.
<S8>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (AAF). 1977. NHER TF 6616J (AAF 119/5) 26-JUN-1977.
<S9>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1984. NHER TF 6616K-N (NLA 139/AUF14-7) 09-FEB-1984.
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1983. NHER TF 6616P (CUCAP RC8-FV113) 20-SEP-1983.
<S11>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1991. NHER TF 6616T-U (NLA 297/LZ5-6) 10-DEC-1991.
<S12>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1987. NHER TF 6616AA-AC (NLA 194/DFD9-11) 22-SEP-1987.
<S13>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1990. NHER TF 6616AD (NLA 270/GCR2) 10-JUL-1990.
<S14>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1992. NHER TF 6616AE-AF (NLA 316/FYP9-10) 23-JUL-1992.
<S15>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1976. MAL 76042 207-8 11-JUN-1976 (NMR).
<S16>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1971. OS/71013 42-3 12-MAR-1971 (NMR).
<S17>Unpublished Contractor Report: Shelley, A., Ashwin, T. and Rogerson, A. 1999. Preliminary synopsis for publication in East Anglian Archaeology. A medieval moated rectory at Wimbotsham, Norfolk. Excavations at Middleton Mount, 1987. Norfolk Archaeological Unit.
<S18>Monograph: Cushion, B. and Davison, A. 2003. Earthworks of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 104. pp 172-173.

Related records

31971Part of: Middleton Park (Monument)

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2024 Norfolk Historic Environment Service