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Melton Mowbray; The Mount

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The Mound

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SK74771884
Latitude 52.76194° Longitude -0.89314°

Melton Mowbray; The Mount has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a Masonry Castle but is rejected as such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Medieval motte surviving as an earthwork probably reused later as a mill mound. Variously supposed in the past to be a tumulus, Civil War grave or modern garden feature. A motte castle approximately 30m in diameter and 3m high, with a flat top 12m in diameter. There is no evidence for a ditch. A documentary reference to a motte at Melton, dated 1364, says that it was granted to the hospital of St Lazarus at Burton Lazars and refers to cutting down trees on the mound. A reference to a mill at Mount Pleasant in 1827 suggests a later use for the mound. Some research from the later 1990s has called into question the validity of the site as a motte. (PastScape)

The mound here, though it was used as a windmill mound, may have originally been a castle motte. Parts of a bank and ditch system have been mapped, with a bank to the west of the mound. It may have been a small castle guarding Melton's southern entrance. Trial trenching on the former Police Station site around The Mount (2001) found no evidence of castle-related structures such as ditches. It would appear to have started life as a windmill rather than a castle? (Leicestershire and Rutland HER)

Cantor hints at a stone castle here. Creighton questions status of mound as castle and, indeed, most authorities who have seen this mound have not considered it to be a motte. The mound is situated on the other side of the river from the parish church and away from the area of settlement. I would not exclude the possibility that there was a castle at Melton Mowbray given it's status as a market town before Domesday but the Mount seems an unlikely site. A more probably site for the manor house of the Mowbray's (Molbrai), which, considering the status of the family, may well have been fortified, has been identified in King Street. Despite being scheduled as a motte Gatehouse has categorised this as a questionable site because of its lack of bailey and unlikely location.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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