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Bicton Castle

in the civil parish of Clun, Shropshire, England
SO28938256

Text and photographs copyright by Philip Davis

C11-C12 motte surviving as an earthwork. The motte has been much mutilated by gravel digging, but had a base diameter of about 25m. Its present maximum height is 2.3m. The ditch and outer bank remain only on the south east side, elsewhere they have been dug away. The ditch is 10m wide and 2m deep; the bank is 8m wide and 1.2m high externally. The bailey is a level rectangular platform around 14m by 25m.

Damaged and difficult to interpret. Here it looks as though a bank of soil and gravel (Presumably a glacial feature) was cut by a ditch to form a low motte and raised baileys, rather than the motte being built up from soil. This is a fairly typical small castle earthwork of which there a numerous examples in the Welsh Marches. Probably built by a relatively minor knight, who will have held the local land in return for castle duty etc at Clun.

Situated to the north of Clun Castle in a sizable area of flat farm land, rare in this generally hilly countryside. Whilst the small castle may have been an out work for Clun Castle I imagine it's prime function was as a manorial centre for this farmland. The site is viewable from the road and accessible. On the day I visited it was guarded by a solitary sheep. This is a Scheduled Monument.

Photos taken on 5 March 2006

References

  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern).
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p4.
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum Vol2 (London: Kraus) p423.
  • Page, Wm. (ed), 1908, VCH Shropshire Vol1 p385.
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1963, 'Early castles in Wales and the Marches: a preliminary list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol112 p77-124.

     

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