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Brampton Motte

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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

In the civil parish of Brampton.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY53326127
Latitude 54.94394° Longitude -2.72997°

Brampton Motte has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A Medieval motte survives as an oval earthwork, although it may have been modified in the 19th Century. The motte is dated to the 12th or 13th Century and is cut out of the higher end of a long ridge. It comprises an oval-shaped summit plateau measuring circa 36m by 18m; 12m downslope there is an encircling ditch circa 5m wide and up to 3m deep. The site was used as a beacon in 1468 and a statue to the 7th Earl of Carlisle was erected on the summit in the 19th Century, at which time the mound may have been further landscaped. (PastScape)

Despite the addition of a statue to the monument's summit in 1864, Mote Castle mound medieval motte survives reasonably well. Its defensive earthworks in particular remain well preserved. The hilltop is a rare example of the site of a motte castle which was later used as a beacon, and it will retain significant archaeological evidence of both these phases of use.
The monument includes The Mote Castle mound, a 12th/13th century medieval motte castle located on the summit of Castle Hill in Brampton which was later used as the site of a signalling beacon during the 15th century. The motte is artificially cut out of the higher end of a long ridge and consists of an oval-shaped summit plateau measuring c.36m by 18m. About 12m downslope there is an encircling ditch c.5m wide and up to 3m deep which is flanked by an outer bank measuring c.5m wide and up to 2m high. There are extensive views to the west, north and east from the summit of the hill and it is for this reason that the hilltop was later used as the site of a beacon. This system of beacons was created to warn of impending attack by Scottish invaders and was developed from the time of Henry III (1216-72). A list of beacons dated to 1468 indicates that the beacon at Brampton connected with a system of beacons which ran along the Tyne valley to the east. (Scheduling Report)
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 09:21:30

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