Motte and Bailey

In the 13th century King Edward I granted a charter to Roger Mortimer of Wigmore Castle to establish a new town in the Manor of Cedewain, Newtown, as it quickly became known. This mound or “motte” was built to provide the usual fortified protection of a mediaeval town. A timber keep was probably built on it. The town was built in a bend in the river. Two defensive banks were built, one to meet the river to the north and the other to the east, meeting the river further downstream, thus providing a near rectangular site for the town. There is no evidence that the moat was ever deliberately filled with water, although in wet weather water does accumulate in it. In the event there was little need for defences and the fortifications fell into disuse.

Did you know?


The motte and bailey fortification was built by Roger de Mortimer to defend his new town.


The motte consists of a D-shaped mound measuring 55m x 35m at the base and 40m x 15m on top.


In 1910 excavations revealed the ruins of a stone structure. This is likely to date to the Civil War period when Sir John Pryce of Newtown Hall fortified the motte on behalf of Parliament.


The castle motte stands in a public park formed from the grounds of Newtown Hall, home of the Pryce family.