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Combe Motte, Combe, Herefordshire

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Bannetts; Hindwell Brook

In the civil parish of Combe.
In the historic county of Herefordshire.
Modern Authority of Herefordshire.
1974 county of Hereford and Worcester.
Medieval County of Herefordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO34776344
Latitude 52.26524° Longitude -2.95722°

Combe Motte, Combe, Herefordshire has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Earthwork and buried remains of a motte castle situated c.90m south of Hindwell Brook, near its confluence with the River Lugg. It sits in a pasture field, overlooking a bridge over Hindwell Brook. The remains include an earthen motte mound of circular form, c.40m diameter at the base and rising c.1.5m to a flat top of c.20m diameter. The top of the mound has a depression, c.12m long and 0.5m deep, and a roughly circular hole 2m diameter and 0.5m deep. These features may be the result of past investigations. The mound is cut to the south by a hollow, c.2m wide and c.0.6m deep, which extends into the ditch and may be the remains of a ramp providing access to the motte. There is a slight mounding of material on the top of the motte to either side of this hollow. A shallow shelf around the motte mound forms a slight berm, less easily visible to the north. The motte is surrounded by an irregular ditch from which material for the mound's construction would have been quarried. The ditch varies in depth from 0.6m to 1.2m, has a maximum width of 5m, and is water-filled in its deepest parts. This in turn is surrounded by a slight external bank, up to 2.5m wide and visible in places to a height of 0.5m. A gap, c.2m wide, through the south west quarter of this bank represents the remains of an inlet channel, part of the original water supply for the ditch. Slight mounding of material on the external bank is visible to either side of this inlet. The monument is in a strategic position guarding a river crossing, but although a series of water channels visible to the north, west and north east of the motte, relate to subsequent land-use around the monument, they are evidently unconnected to the motte castle itself. (Scheduling Report)

The castle probably existed in the 12th century, and probably suffered the same fate as Presteigne Castle, which was sacked by the Welsh at Christmas 1262 and never rebuilt. The motte is at most 5 feet high and 50 feet across, and there is evidence of a ditch 15 feet wide and 3 feet deep. To the west is the earthwork remains of a rectangular bailey visible as a low bank and ditch bisecting a field. It undoubtedly formerly had wet defences. (PastScape ref. Remfry)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:32

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