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Tenbury Wells Castle Tump

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Burford Castle

In the civil parish of Burford.
In the historic county of Shropshire.
Modern Authority of Shropshire.
1974 county of Shropshire.
Medieval County of Worcestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO59406862
Latitude 52.31418° Longitude -2.59697°

Tenbury Wells Castle Tump has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The motte castle on the flood plain of the River Teme, 150m west of Teme Bridge survives well and is a good example of its class. It will contain archaeological information relating to its construction and occupation and environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed. Its position on the flood plain may have resulted in the preservation of organic materials sealed in the waterlogged deposits beneath the mound and beneath the causeway. The motte is one of a group of such monuments which lie along the valley of the River Teme, positioned to control crossing places. As such, it offers valuable information relating to the management of the valley during the early medieval period.
The monument includes a small motte castle and an earthen causeway standing on the flood plain of the River Teme. The motte is visible as a well defined earthen mound 25m in diameter at base rising 3.6m high to a level summit 4m in diameter. There is no ditch surrounding the mound, rather it stands on a slight island raised 0.8m above the surrounding level of the flood plain. This raised platform is linked to the northern edge of the flood plain by the remains of an earthen causeway which runs from the north east edge of the platform as a low spread bank 8m wide and 0.4m high, orientated north east to south west. (Scheduling Report)

One of a group of Norman earthwork castles controlling crossing points in the Teme valley, Castle Tump survives well and is likely to contain well-preserved, waterlogged archaeological remains. (Shropshire HER)

The Town of Tenbury Wells is in Worcestershire but this motte is now just over the county boundary and in Burford parish, Shropshire. The 1884 OS map shows the county boundary to loop around the tump, away from its modern line following the modern course of the river Teme, so as to include the tump in Worcestershire. Gatehouse suspects the boundary follows an old course of the river which would have put the tump at the neck of a looping meander in a naturally moated site. A fragment of this meander survives as a drainage ditch up to Lineage Farm, the rest roughly following the line of the modern A456 road. Although no bailey is recorded the lost meander would have enclosed a area which would have been a good sized bailey (approx 300m by 75m), well protected by the natural river defences. The change in river course and the heavy erosion of the earthworks make this castle seem rather smaller and less significant than was probably the case. Philip Barker writes there is some doubt as to this being a motte although he believed it was one, otherwise seems to be completely accepted as a motte.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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