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Hisland Castle Mound

In the civil parish of Oswestry Rural.
In the historic county of Shropshire.
Modern Authority of Shropshire.
1974 county of Shropshire.
Medieval County of Shropshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ31732746
Latitude 52.84050° Longitude -3.01450°

Hisland Castle Mound has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The motte castle at Hisland survives well and is a good example of its class. It will retain valuable archaeological information relating to its construction and occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will survive sealed on the old land surface beneath the motte and in the lower levels of the ditch fill. Such motte castles, considered both as a single site and as a part of a broader medieval landscape, contribute valuable information concerning the rural settlement pattern, economy and social organisation of the countryside during the medieval period.
The monument includes the remains of a small motte castle situated on the eastern tip of a low spur of high ground. The motte is of earth and rubble construction, is roughly oval in plan with dimensions of 28m north to south by 24m transversely and stands to a height of 4m. The motte summit is flat and also oval in plan, measuring 18m north to south by 11m east to west. A roughly rectangular depression 4m by 4.5m and 0.3m deep is cut into the eastern quarter of the summit representing surface disturbance in the recent past. A ditch, from which material for the construction of the motte would have been quarried, surrounds the motte. It remains visible around the west and north west sides of the motte as a shallow depression 4m wide and 0.2m deep. It will survive as a buried feature around the remaining sides of the motte. No bailey associated with the motte has yet been traced. (Scheduling Report)

If the motte had a defended bailey it lay to the south and has been destroyed by the enlargement of the farm over many centuries. However it is entirely possibly there was no bailey and the motte always stood next to an undefended house and farm. In either case the small motte could not really be a functioning defense but did symbolise the military status of the resident in the adjacent farm. Hisland appears to be a township within the modest Domesday manor of Aston (which, despite a Saxon name, was inhabited by Welshmen). Gatehouse has not identified the sub-tenant nor the amount of service due although it is likely to have been a modest part of a knight's fee.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:52

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