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Chalgrave motte

In the civil parish of Chalgrave.
In the historic county of Bedfordshire.
Modern Authority of Bedfordshire.
1974 county of Bedfordshire.
Medieval County of Bedfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL00952738
Latitude 51.93553° Longitude -0.53380°

Chalgrave motte has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are no visible remains.


Small motte and bailey, excavated in 1970 and since completely levelled. It had been constructed in two phases and abandoned in C13. Traces of a manorial site of several periods and of an C11 timber manor-house were found during the excavations, the latter under the motte. (PastScape)

Chalgrave, Bedfordshire, began as a small motte c. 110, built close to the church and over an area which had been occupied by a manorial complex of uncertain date. Towards the end of the same century the motte was enlarged to take a long single-storey timber building, and the encircling ditch was recut; clearly the first castle was found to be too small to provide the facilities required by a new lord. However, in spite of this, the castle was abandoned for reasons unknown in the late C12 or early C13 in favour of another site close by (Pinder and Davison 1988). (Kenyon 1990)

Lowerre (2005) rejects this as a castle based on his definition of early Norman castles. The opinion of Gatehouse is that his definition is far too narrow to be useful and would, if applied nationally, exclude the vast majority of castles.

Was the initial small motte a symbolic mound marking the knightly status of the new Norman lord of the manor, who continued to occupy the Saxon thegnal buildings? Then enlarged to become a platform motte with a new hall.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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