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Mouse Castle, Cusop

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO24834247
Latitude 52.07547° Longitude -3.09819°

Mouse Castle, Cusop has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Earthwork and buried remains of a motte and bailey castle known as Mouse Castle, located on a natural headland with steeply sloping sides in all directions except to the north east where the land falls away more gently. The castle includes a motte standing 4m to 5m high and measuring 15m to 20m in diameter on the summit and approximately 50m in diameter around the base. This is surrounded by a ditch 4m to 5m wide and 1m to 3m deep which is best preserved on the northern side, with traces of a counterscarp bank on the north side. A further outer rampart measuring 10m to 12m wide and up to 3m high survives to the north and east. To the south east of the motte are the remains of the entrance to the complex including a large hollow way cutting through the outer ramparts. The monument is one of a number of medieval defensive sites located in strategic positions above the Wye Valley and is believed to have been constructed by Roger De Lacy, although its unusual form has led to suggestions that the castle may have been remodelled from a pre-existing Iron Age hill fort. The natural topography, however, suggests that the motte is formed from an outcrop enhanced by quarrying and the construction of the earthen ramparts. (Scheduling Report)

Phillips makes the point that much of the earthworks appear Iron Age in date and that this may be an adaptation by the Normans of an earlier hill fort. He considers it a early Norman period castle, one superseded by Cusop Castle.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:52

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