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Parishes: M (castles)

Madley: Castle Farm, motte

Historic Environment Record reference no. 6270, Ordnance Survey grid reference: SO 4064 3840

The place-name Madley may be formed from the personal name Madda and the Old English word ley, meaning "wood" or "clearing". Hence Madley may mean "Madda's clearing". (Bruce Coplestone-Crow, Herefordshire Place-Names, British Archaeological Reports British Series 214, 1989, pp. 139-140)

A slight artificial earthwork on top of a natural mound much damaged by the erection of house and farm buildings. The motte is c. 2.5m high, and 45m in diameter at the base. There are traces of a ditch 0.4m deep on the north-west.

There is a possible bailey to the east; it has scarped edges (except on the east) and a ditch on the south.

Blount describes the site as a moated manor house, and it is the possible site of Cublinton Castle, home of the Delafields.

In the Domesday Survey of 1086 Madley is recorded as land held by the Canons of Hereford. Madley held three hides, which belonged to the Bishop's barton.  There were six villagers with four ploughs. Madley also included woodland ½ a league long and one furlong wide, which was in the King's Enclosure. (Frank and Caroline Thorn (eds.), Domesday Book 17: Herefordshire, 2,9, Phillimore, 1983)

Madley: motte and bailey

HER no. 2241, OS grid ref: SO 4177 3879

This motte and bailey site lies 250m north-west of Madley parish church.

The place-name Madley may be formed from the personal name Madda and the Old English word ley, meaning "wood" or "clearing". Hence Madley may mean "Madda's clearing". (Bruce Coplestone-Crow, Herefordshire Place-Names, British Archaeological Reports British Series 214, 1989, pp. 139-140)

The site comprises an oval mound c. 43m long by c. 33.5m across at the base, rising 3m above the bottom of a dry surrounding ditch.

The motte and bailey both have wet moats, but the motte was removed in 1963 for its supply of soil. In the bailey to the south a platform could mark the place where the former hall once stood. The motte could have supported a shell keep.

In the Domesday Survey of 1086 Madley is recorded as land held by the Canons of Hereford. Madley held three hides which belonged to the Bishop's barton.  There were six villagers with four ploughs. Madley also included woodland ½ a league long and one furlong wide, which was in the King's Enclosure. (Frank and Caroline Thorn (eds.), Domesday Book 17: Herefordshire, 2,9, Phillimore, 1983)

Michaelchurch Escley: Whitehouse Camp

HER no. 166, OS grid ref: SO 2959 3567

Michaelchurch Escley is a small village in the south-west of the county. The earthwork stands at the western border of the parish, approximately 1½ miles from the parish church.

The site consists of an earthwork and buried remains of a ringwork and bailey on a crest of the Cefn ridge. The ringwork has an earthen bank, enclosing a roughly oval area lying north-north-west - south-south-east. To the south, south-east and south-west of this earthwork is a crescent-shaped bailey. This bailey joins onto the ringwork to the north.

The rampart surrounding the ringwork measures 4m wide and 1.5m high. However, at the south-east end it widens to form a rectangular mound 8m x 16m and 2m high. This makes the dimensions for the entire site 36m x 29m.

The bailey has been formed by manually terracing the natural bank and enclosing within an artificial scarp an area measuring 58m north-south and 55m east-west. The ground within the bailey is flat and the surrounding land slopes gently away. The earth for this rampart no doubt came from the digging of a surrounding ditch, since infilled.

The oval ringwork has a flat top that is covered by trees; where these trees have fallen stonework has been revealed. In one area a horizontal masonry revetment that would have originally supported the mound has been discovered. The construction of the ringwork and associated features is slight and suggests that this was a temporary fortification or defended homestead, rather than a permanently occupied fortification.

The site would have been an attractive location for a fortification of this sort because of its commanding views across neighbouring valleys.

Whitehouse Camp is legally protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Much Marcle: Mortimer's Castle

HER no. 478, OS grid ref: SO 6577 3281

Fifty metres to the north and east of St. Bartholomew's church lie a motte, bailey and earthworks.

The motte is round, c. 57m in diameter with a maximum height of c. 7m above the bottom of the encircling ditch.

The inner bailey lies to the east and has been considerably altered to form modern gardens. The outer ditch is of semi-circular form, and beyond this on the north and east is an outer enclosure bounded by a rampart with an additional ditch on the north.

To the north-east of this enclosure is a further rectangular enclosure, perhaps of a later date and bounded by a scarp.

Traditionally it is said that the tower of the church, built in the 15th century, is constructed from the castle ruins.

Edward I gave part of Much Marcle to Edmund de Mortimer. The Mortimers had a castellated mansion 50m to the north of the church; the artificial eminence surrounded by a moat can still be seen.

Munsley: Lower Court, motte

HER no. 1607, OS grid ref: SO 6617 4083

Munsley is close to the Roman road, 6.5km north-west of Ledbury. The mound is 100m south-west of the parish church, which dates to c. 1100.

At the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086, Munsley was known as Muleslage, which may mean "Mul's clearing". By the 1420s the parish was known asMounsley. (Bruce Coplestone-Crow, Herefordshire Place-Names, British Archaeological Reports British Series 214, 1989, p. 150)

A mound rising c. 2m above the approach on the north-east. On the west side of the mound is a ditch and on the east a large marshy area, which was perhaps once flooded by the small stream nearby. The dry ditch has since been infilled.

To the south-west of the mound is an L-shaped length of wet moat, formerly enclosing an outer court. In the moat are the foundations of a possible barbican.

The mound appears to be a motte.