South Moreton Castle

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South Moreton Castle
South Moreton, Oxfordshire, England
South Moreton Castle is located in Oxfordshire
South Moreton Castle
South Moreton Castle
Coordinates51°35′18″N 1°11′48″W / 51.5884°N 1.1966°W / 51.5884; -1.1966Coordinates: 51°35′18″N 1°11′48″W / 51.5884°N 1.1966°W / 51.5884; -1.1966
TypeMotte and bailey
Site information
ConditionEarthworks remain

South Moreton Castle was an 11th-century castle in the village of South Moreton, Oxfordshire, England. The name can also refer to a nearby siege-castle, probably from the 12th century.


South Moreton Castle is an 11th-century Norman motte and bailey design that overlooks Mill Brook in the village of South Moreton, lying close to the village church.[1] The motte is 50 metres (160 ft) wide and 4 metres (13 ft) high, surrounded by a 15-metre-wide (49 ft) ditch that may have originally been filled with water by the brook.[1] The motte was damaged during the late Victorian period, and a 50-yard-long (46 m) embankment stretching away from the castle to the west may have been destroyed around that time.[2] Local tradition states that some victims of the English Civil War in the 17th century were buried upon the motte.[2] The castle is a scheduled monument.[3]

The siege work

Just to the north of the main South Moreton Castle is another fortification, probably dating from the civil war of the Anarchy in the 12th century.[4] This castle includes a moated ditch 85 metres (279 ft) by 130 metres (430 ft) across, and is thought to be a siege-castle designed to contain the forces of the Empress Matilda at nearby Wallingford.[5] An alternative opinion is that this moat was in fact associated with the nearby manor house, and that the siege castle referred to in the 1140s was in fact the first castle overlooking Mill Brooke.[4]

See also[edit]


  • Betts, W.J. (1910) "South Moreton," Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 15, p. 73.
  • Spurrell, M. (1995) "Containing Wallingford Castle, 1146-53.", Oxoniensia 60, pp257–270.


  1. ^ a b List Entry 1018721, National Heritage List, English Heritage, accessed 13 June 2011.
  2. ^ a b Parishes: South Moreton, A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3 (1923), pp. 498–504, accessed 13 June 2011; Betts, p. 73.
  3. ^ South Moreton Castle, Gatehouse website, accessed 13 June 2011.
  4. ^ a b South Moreton 'siege work', Gatehouse website, accessed 13 June 2011.
  5. ^ South Moreton 'siege work', Gatehouse website, accessed 13 June 2011; Spurrell, p. 260.