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

Morley Moor Mound

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Morley House Farm; The Mound; Toot Hill

In the civil parish of Morley.
In the historic county of Derbyshire.
Modern Authority of Derbyshire.
1974 county of Derbyshire.
Medieval County of Derbyshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK39194099
Latitude 52.96488° Longitude -1.41802°

Morley Moor Mound has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


'On Morley Moor, about 450 yards to the west of the church, is a large mound, now bearing many well-grown trees, and still nearly surrounded by a well filled moat'. It is considered to be a 'very perfect specimen' of a Castle Mount, and has a nearly level platform on the top, about 15 ft in diameter. 'Owing to the hedge being broken down, the lower parts of the mound are rapidly crumbling away under the tread of cattle and children' (in 1905) (VCH).
The Moated Mound near Morley beside the way from the Sacheverell Almshouses is locally called the Toot Hill. The editor of the Derbyshire Archaeological Journal in 1935 suggested that the mound might be 'the ancient moot of the Morleston Hundred' (Tudor).
'Moated Mound… probably a fortified dwelling or other stronghold' (Pevsner).
A large conical mound, tree covered and partly surrounded by a ditch/pond. It does not look like a motte and the top is too small to have held any form of structure; similarly, it cannot be a gazebo or mill mound. The feature is not in a strongly defensive position and its purpose was probably ornamental. (F1 FDC 02-JAN-67). (Derbyshire HER)

Although the motte south-west of Morley House Farm has been disturbed by scrub, the monument survives well and is sufficiently intact for archaeological remains relating to the structure of the motte and the associated keep to be preserved. In addition, well preserved organic and environmental remains will survive in the waterfilled ditch.
This monument, known locally as The Mound, is a medieval motte and includes a flat-topped conical mound surrounded by a 6-9m wide waterfilled ditch which is crossed by a causeway on the south-east side. The motte is 15m wide at its base and c.4m high and very steep-sided. A timber tower or keep would originally have stood on the motte whose top is c.5m wide. Formerly there may also have been an attached bailey or outer enclosure which would have contained ancillary buildings and pens for cattle and horses. There is no visible trace of such a feature in the ploughed fields surrounding the monument and so this area has not been included in the scheduling. (Scheduling Report)

The mound clearly shows signs of being altered with a spiral path to the top but the location, at other end of village from church, is not untypical of a medieval manorial centre (there is a manorial centre by the church but a second manorial centre is a possibility) and this does seem to have started as a motte, although the lack of a bailey suggests mainly a symbolic mound, showing the knightly status of the lord of the manor. The surrounding, water filled, ditch may be defensive or merely represent obtaining the soil to build the mound from the closest possible location. Suggestions that this was a 'watch tower' for Horsley castle (Pritchard) have to address the question of how such a watch would be manned and funded.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
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 Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. 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 26/07/2017 09:20:07

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