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Halesowen 'motte'

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Halesowen.
In the historic county of Worcestershire.
Modern Authority of Dudley.
1974 county of West Midlands.
Medieval County of Shropshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO95158305
Latitude 52.44546° Longitude -2.07247°

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

There are no visible remains.


Site of motte recorded in late C18 by Moore. (King)

A mound and possible ditches on a fairly elevated ridge. Bury element of place-name (Hasbury) indicates the site of a fort, whether Bronze Age, Iron Age or Anglo-Saxon is unknown. In 1950's a housing estate was built on the site.
Until building of housing estate upon site 1950's' were some earthworks (a mound & possible ditches) in Hasbury, Halesowen. Fairly elevated, on ridge, does not seem to have been connected with mining. Main section was at one time used to retain an irrigation pond (P.S. Keate. Hasbury Hill Earthwork).
Earthworks shown on 1st Ed 25 1884 & later.
Bury element of place-name probably indicates a fort though it is not known what the age of the structure is. (Dudley HER)

Halesowen was part of Shropshire until 1843/4 when it was moved into Worcestershire.
King used the term 'possible' to mean castles he had considerable doubts about but could not exclude. This lost earthwork, shown on the 1887 OS map as a small mound and egg shaped enclosure embanked on one side (presumably even then suffering erosion and the form on the map needs to taken with some caution), was isolated in medieval times, well over a mile from Halesowen church and village and within the township of Hasbury, a small dispersed settlement. The earthwork was in a field adjacent to a field called 'Roundabouts' on the 1750 tithe map, which is a name sometimes associated with ringworks or other forms of ring ditches and embanked enclosures. This field is adjacent to Hasbury Farm the site of minor manor house. The tenurial history does not suggest a medieval timber castle but the Hasbury place name does suggest there was something here which Saxon settlers saw as a defensive enclosure. Was this a new build Saxon thegnal site or an ancient Iron Age farmstead enclosure with or without Saxon reuse? The site is now housing although there remains a possibility a householder may find archaeology in their garden.
Hazelbury (Hasbury) was held as part of the manor of Romsley, for serjeanty service. It seems an unlikely place for the manor centre (which was, presumably at Romsley, 2 miles south) and an even less likely place for a medieval castle.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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