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Crosby on Eden 'motte'

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY44805959
Latitude 54.92793° Longitude -2.86288°

Crosby on Eden 'motte' has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


The church was built in 1854 by RH Billings totally replacing a Medieval church on the same site. The present church has a two and half storey tower, a four bay nave and a single bay chancel. Supposedly built with stone from Hadrian's Wall. Jackson suggests that the church is built on the site of a motte, there being a distinct oval mound 2.0m high and a crescentic mound in the churchyard. The Norman font in the church, which suggests a contemporary church, suggests that the motte would have been on a nearby site. However, the church at Beaumont is built on a Norman motte, so the same could be the case here. (PastScape)


Whilst a motte is not impossible alternative mounds are also possible. It was deliberate policy of the early church to found churches near sites of pagan worship or value such as burial mounds and this location, on the Roman Stanegate is not impossible for a burial mound of Roman or early Saxon origin. Even in a culturally neutral site it is usual for churches to be built on local high spots and Cumbria has numerous glacial mounds. The evidence for this supposed motte is slight. Mounds in churchyards can also represent spoil, built up over time, from grave digging. The rather unusual situation at Beaumont has probably triggered a somewhat fanciful interpretation of this site.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:32

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