Help support TMP

"A small Norman castle in Norfolk" Topic

7 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

In order to respect possible copyright issues, when quoting from a book or article, please quote no more than three paragraphs.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Dark Ages Message Board

Back to the Medieval Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Ruleset

Featured Showcase Article

Oddzial Osmy's 15mm Teutonic Spearmen

PhilGreg Painters in Sri Lanka paints our Teutonic spearmen.

Featured Workbench Article

Adam Paints Some Lady Pirates

Adam loves Scorched Brown...

Featured Profile Article

The Gates of Old Jerusalem

The gates of Old Jerusalem offer a wide variety of scenario possibilities.

Featured Book Review

890 hits since 13 Mar 2022
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Warspite113 Mar 2022 11:26 a.m. PST

For those not familiar with the English/Welsh landscape and its archaeology, motte and bailey castles turn up regularly, sometimes only a few miles apart.

At Middleham Castle, in Yorkshire, the site of the original motte and bailey (circa 1066) is visible from the present medieval castle which was moved to flatter ground. Motte and baileys were built in earth and timber, in the style of a US stockade, but at many sites such as Windsor, Lewes, Carisbrooke and Warwick Castles the timber was later replaced in stone on the original site.


I was at Middleton Mount near King's Lynn, Norfolk, at the weekend. These photos might be useful to a potential model maker:


Not all sites received the motte. One such example is Stansted Mountfitchet which just has baileys. This type of site is sometimes called a ring work.

While most date to the post-Conquest 1066 period there was another phase of building during the Stephen and Matilda wars known as The Anarchy:


Today a glance across any Ordnance Survey soon turns up surviving motte and baileys in most counties and in varying scales. One of the largest is at Ongar in Essex where part of the present town sits in the outer and inner baileys.

Another good example can be found at Tonbridge in Kent:

At Tonbridge the role of keep may have been replaced by a keep/gatehouse which was heavily fortified from both directions facing out and facing inwards. If the garrison mutinied the custodian held the keys of the door!

Barry Slemmings

Lieutenant Lockwood13 Mar 2022 12:33 p.m. PST

What great pictures! Thanks for sharing!

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2022 1:45 p.m. PST

That is interesting. Thank you!

Personal logo PaulCollins Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2022 5:10 p.m. PST

Thanks for sharing that.

Warspite113 Mar 2022 5:33 p.m. PST

You are more than welcome.
One area of confusion are ringworks. Lacking a motte it is sometimes difficult to identify them as defensive. There is a DMV (Deserted Medieval Village) about 15 miles from me with a 'ringwork' but the alternative theory is that it is nothing more than a circular cattle corral which would have been used to keep livestock in and marauding cattle thieves or predators such as wolves out. Wolves were still common in England during the Middle Ages.

The last British wolf was allegedly killed in Scotland around 1680 but there are current suggestions to re-introduce the species, perhaps in the West Country (Devon and Cornwall).

West Country sheep farmers are not exactly keen on the idea!

Barry Slemmings, author of Bills, Bows and Bloodshed 2.2

Warspite114 Mar 2022 5:42 a.m. PST

I have been reminded that I have another motte and bailey in my photo files:


Pickering Castle started as a timber palisade around one Bailey with steps up to the adjoining motte. At some stage this original palisade/stockade was replaced in stone and the motte eventually acquired a stone 'shell keep'. Shell keeps were a method of putting a stone wall around the edge of the motte. The builders were unsure if it could take the weight of a full height tower.


Pickering also had a second bailey added which remained as a palisade for part of its history. See my caption story under any of the Pickering pictures for details. This too was eventually replaced in stone.

Barry Slemmings

Sturmpioneer Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Mar 2022 9:28 p.m. PST

Thanks for sharing the photos.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.