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Weston under Redcastle; The Mount

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Weston and Wixhill under Redcastle; Killyards

In the civil parish of Weston Under Redcastle.
In the historic county of Shropshire.
Modern Authority of Shropshire.
1974 county of Shropshire.
Medieval County of Shropshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ56402912
Latitude 52.85780° Longitude -2.64886°

Weston under Redcastle; The Mount has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Despite its partial use as a quarry for soil, the motte castle known as The Mount is a good example of this class of monument. The motte will retain evidence of its construction and the buried remains of structures built upon its summit. Organic remains preserved in the buried ground surface beneath the motte, and deposited within the encircling ditch, will provide information about the local environment and the use of the land prior to and following the construction of the motte. It remains a prominent feature within the landscape.
The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a motte castle, occupying an elevated position with commanding views of the north Shropshire plain and the hills of the Welsh borderland beyond. It is situated 820m to the south west of Red Castle, which is the subject of a separate scheduling. The flat-topped, steep-sided circular motte measures approximately 30m at its base and between 15m to 18m across the top, and stands about 4.2m high. The size of the motte indicates that it was only large enough to support a small structure such as a watchtower. The motte is surrounded by a ditch about 7m wide, which on the eastern side is visible as a shallow depression 0.5m deep. To the north and west this ditch has been infilled, but will survive as a buried feature. Two depressions on the top and on the south eastern side of the motte are the result of quarrying for earth in modern times. (Scheduling Report)

Possibly a C18 folly, but the ditch is improbable in this case. Sides too steep for gazebo platform and there is no ramp. Barrow or windmill mound interpretations were also rejected. Position on summit of minor hill and proximity to site of medieval chapel suggest a motte, possibly the predecessor of Red Castle 91962. Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ52NE1).
Mound known as the Kill-yards in early C19. In c1815 a mound was dug into at Weston and foundations of a small oblong building were discovered. The walls were double; in the space between them bones are said to have been found (Hill 1829).
Mound 18ft high with a basin shaped summit, 4ft deep; around the base of the scarp is a fosse 4ft deep on the NW, but filled to within a foot on the SW. (VCH 1908).
The mound, which is almost certainly a motte, is in good condition as described. The surrounding area is under intermittent cultivation. No trace of bailey (Burrow Ian. 1978-Mar-28. Site Visit Form). (Shropshire HER)

In a very romanticized account J. Hill refers to a mound at Weston known as the 'Kill-yards', surrounded by a trench. She also says 'About 15 years since (i.e. 1815) on digging up a mound at Weston, the foundations of a small oblong building were discovered. The walls were double; in the space between them bones are said to have been found' (Hill 1829).
Mound 18 ft. high, with a basin-shaped summit, 4 ft. deep; around the base of the scarp is a fosse, 4 ft. deep on the north-east but filled to within a foot on the south-west (VCH 1908).
? 18th century (Annotated Record Map J.R.W. Whitfield 1950)
The Mount is removed from the eccentricities of Hawkstone Park and cannot be directly associated with them. It has not the appearance of a barrow or a windmill mound. Its sides are too steep to be a gazebo platform and there is no ramp. Had it been a folly one would not expect a ditch at its base. The mound crowns a minor hill and has the appearance of a motte. Its size, steep sides and proximity to the site of a Mediaeval Chapel are in keeping with such a classification - though the ditch is weak. It may be the site of the predecessor of Red Castle. There is no trace of a bailey (F1 JR 25-JAN-62). (PastScape)

As Gatehouse reads Hill this mound is not the place where foundations of a small building were found (That site being in the village and possibly now lost). Despite the scheduling report and the arguments made by JR in 1962 Gatehouse has doubts over this hill top site as that of a castle. Was this a tree stand, where a simply revetted mound kept deer off young trees.
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 09:21:29

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