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Eastcotts Motte

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Wood Farm; Exeter Wood; Cardington

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

OS Map Grid Reference: TL10024423
Latitude 52.08579° Longitude -0.39559°

Eastcotts Motte has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The monument includes a small medieval motte castle located 780m south east of Wood Farm, on the northern edge of the Greensand Ridge overlooking Cardington, Bedford and the broad flood plain of the River Ouse. The castle stands on a broad terrace below the summit of the ridge, and was formed by the excavation of a wide ditch around a central mound, or motte, raised from the upcast soil. The motte, which is circular in plan, measures about 20m in diameter. It stands approximately 1.8m above the level of its surroundings and the surface, which would originally have supported a timber tower, has a slightly domed profile. The surrounding ditch measures approximately 4.5m in width and 1.4m in depth (to the level of the accumulated silts in the base), and a low counterscarp bank surrounds the outer edge. In the absence of a causeway spanning the ditch, access to the motte is believed to have been provided by a timber bridge. The castle is thought to have been constructed in the late 11th or 12th century, either as part of the consolidation of the countryside after the Norman invasion, or as a matter of local defence during the period of sporadic civil war between Stephen and Matilda (1134-1148). At the time of the Domesday Book (1086) the site of the castle lay within lands belonging to the manor of Cardington, and remained the property of the de Beauchamp family (under the barony of Bedford) until 1265, when the manor was divided following the death of John de Beauchamp at the battle of Evesham. (Scheduling Report)


Scheduled as a motte, but was and is overgrown and has not been examined in detail. Despite being record in the 1960's not in Castellarium Anglicanum and may not have been examined by a castle studies expert. Isolated mound within ancient woodland halfway down scarp face of the Greensand Ridge. The location would give a view of traffic travel north toward Bedford along the A600. However, the Greensand ridge is not much of a barrier to traffic and this road would be easily bypassed, certainly by horse mounted cavalry. As it overlooked by higher ground less than a bow shot away (100m) can hardly be considered defensible. Is this really a motte?
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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