A comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales and the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Back to list 

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Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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.


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)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
OS getamap   Streetmap   Old-Maps   Where's the path   NLS maps  
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   EarthTools   GeoHack  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   Flashearth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

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
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of English Heritage, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
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.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated on Saturday, November 15, 2014

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact