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Botelers Castle, Oversley

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Arrow Motte

In the civil parish of Alcester.
In the historic county of Warwickshire.
Modern Authority of Warwickshire.
1974 county of Warwickshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP08375588
Latitude 52.20110° Longitude -1.87892°

Botelers Castle, Oversley has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

In 1086 Fulk held the manor of Oversley, but it later passed to Ralph de Boteler, who probably built a castle there making it his principal seat. A steep knoll overlooking the river Arrow is still known locally as 'Boteler's castle'. No sign of buildings on the obvious knoll at Boteler's castle. In the summer of 1934 Mr BW Davis trenched the top and sides of the hill. He discovered a considerable amount of pottery, roofing tiles, slates, but little stone and absolutely no trace of foundations. This suggests that the castle was timber and that no motte was formed as the natural escarpment was deemed sufficient. The ruins seen by Dugdale were probably of a later stone building. A rectangular castle mound in a commanding position with a ditch to the S. There are no indications of a building but coarse Medieval pottery was found over a wide area. The site has been under plough for many years and the mound is spread. There are two parallel banks. These appear to have been outworks of the castle forming two unusual baileys. Excavations in 1992 and 1993 revealed the existence of an attached ditched enclosure possibly a village defence and/or outer bailey. (Warwickshire HER)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
  • Websites (Gatehouse is not responsible for the content of external websites.)
  • Books
    • Salter, Mike, 1993, Midlands Castles (Birmingham) p. 65
      Salter, Mike, 1992, Castles and Moated Mansions of Warwickshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 14
      King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 485
      Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 271 (Gives map ref. to modern Oversley Castle, not Arrow Motte)
      Salzman, L.F. (ed), 1945, VCH Warwickshire Vol. 3 p. 29 online transcription
      Stenton, F.M., 1932, First Century of English Feudalism (Oxford: Clarendon Press) p. 195-6
  • Periodical Articles
    • Creighton, O.H., 2004, ''The Rich Man in his Castle, The Poor Man at His Gate': Castle Baileys and Settlement Patterns in Norman England' Château Gaillard Vol. 21 p. 25-36
      Jones, C., Eyre-Morgan, G., Palmer, S. and Palmer, N., 1997, 'Excavations in the outer enclosure of Boteler's Castle, Oversley, Alcester, 1992-3' Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society Vol. 101 p. 1-98
      Chatwin, P.B., 1947-8, 'Castles in Warwickshire' Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society Vol. 67 p. 17-18
      Chatwin, P.B., 1936, Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society Vol. 60 p. 145-6
      193?, Congress of Archaeological Societies in union with The Society of Antiquaries of London. Report of the Research Committee for the year 1934
  • Primary (Medieval documents or transcriptions of such documents - This section is far from complete and the secondary sources should be consulted for full references.)
    • Dugdale, William (Caley, J., Ellis, H. and Bandinel, B. (eds)), 1817-30 (originally pub. 1655-73), Monasticon Anglicanum (London) Vol. 4 p. 175
  • Antiquarian (Histories and accounts from late medieval and early modern writers)
    • Dugdale, Wm., 1656, The Antiquities of Warwickshire (Thomas Warren) p. 627 online copy
  • Other sources: Theses; 'grey' literature; in-house reports; unpublished works; etc.
    • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 48 online copy
      English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 47 online copy
      English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 58 online copy
      English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 57 online copy
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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 on Saturday, November 15, 2014

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