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Moccas Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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

In the civil parish of Moccas.
In the historic county of Herefordshire.
Modern Authority of Herefordshire.
1974 county of Hereford and Worcester.
Medieval County of Herefordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO348425
Latitude 52.07654° Longitude -2.95117°

Moccas Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

Description

Earthworks of the castle were visible during the early C20. These comprised two baileys and a small motte. Field investigations carried out in 1971 found most of the earthworks to be ploughed out. It is known that a licence was granted in 1293 for a structure without towers, to be less than ten feet in height below the crenellations, indicating that the site was not strongly defended. The earthwork remains of the motte and part of the bailey to the south-west were mapped from aerial photographs. (PastScape)

Moccas Castle consists of a roughly oval court enclosed by remains of a ditch with subsidiary scarp within area. At E end is v small motte with ditch between it & bailey (RCHME). Ploughed out, leaving only small natural knoll (OS 1971). An early motte and bailey castle, roughly oval bailey has been formed by scarping a low hillock, strengthened by a ditch remains of which are prominent on the south, where there is a secondary scarp. On slope of scarp at E end there is a very small motte, summit 8' x 12'. Ditch between it and the bailey, seems unlikely that any part of castle constructed in masonry.... (Kay, R., 1953, SMR file) 1291: Hugh de Frene obtained charter of freewarren, & 3 yrs later licence to fortify to strengthen it with" stone wall without turret or tower & not exceeding 10' in height below the battlements" de Frenes held till 1375. Foundations can be traced...long formed quarry for road metalling, moat, partially drained is now only a swampy circle... Silas Taylor Harl MS 6726 describes site of modern house (8995) (Robinson) No sign of castle, no earthwork visible with exception of significant field boundary on north. The knoll is a natural feature. (Herefordshire SMR)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1293 June 15 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Comments

The licence of 1293 was probably a rebuilding of an early motte and bailey. The complete loss of the site is suggestive of the weakness of the earthworks of the castle. How 'defensive' this house was ever intended to be is an open question but clearly the adjacent deer park was the real focus of the home, family and estate.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 29/09/2016 06:02:42

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