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Launde Motte

In the civil parish of Launde.
In the historic county of Leicestershire.
Modern Authority of Leicestershire.
1974 county of Leicestershire.
Medieval County of Leicestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK79050474
Latitude 52.63458° Longitude -0.83338°

Launde Motte has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A well-engineered grass covered mound with a max height of 2.0m; in part surrounded by a ditch with an average depth of 0.6m, crossed by a causeway to the south, which is apparently original. Topographically the mound is situated in an outstanding defensive position with excellent all round visibility. To the north, an east-west road makes a marked divergence to avoid the mound but still cuts the northern face of the ditch in passing; this road marks the original main easterly route to Launde Abbey and the mound must pre-date the house. Scheduled classification of this feature as a 'Castle mound' appears correct, there is now no surface indication of a bailey but the position of the causeway suggests that, had a bailey existed, it would have fallen in an area that has for many years been subject to plough action. The possibility must also exist that this is an outer post to Sauvey Castle (SK 70 NE 6) to the north. Had the feature originally been a mill mound (the only other likely alternative) the causeway would doubtless have been on one of the northern faces - adjacent to the road. (PastScape–Field Investigators Comments-F D Colquhoun/22-MAR-1973/Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigator)

Close to Launde Abbey and Sauvey Castle, but not a manorial centre. In Cantor's possible list, Creighton writes sited in field called 'Mill Close'. High status landscape with Abbey and Park, Abbey founded before 1125 by Richard Basset. Given isolated site, small size, lake of bailey, place-name evidence for a millstead and the probability that the manorial centre for this non-nucleated region was Sauvey. There is nothing that outstanding as a 'defensive position' although it does provide a good view to the east. The road does respect the mound but there is no 'marked divergence' just the usual sort of meandering that results from trying to avoid overly steep parts to the road. The argument that a mill causeway would be on the northern face is weak – The time taken to unload carts would mean the road would be blocked if the causeway was on that side. It seems highly unlikely this a motte, most likely a mill stead but if not that then possible a medieval parkland feature associated with hunting.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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