Mount Bures Castle, Essex…

There is some debate as to the origin of Mount Bures Castle in Essex. It has been suggested that the castle motte was originally a barrow that was adapted by the Normans as a motte and bailey castle, or that it was built by Roger of Poitou who had been given the manor of Mount Bures soon after the Norman conquest.

Additionally, the castle has been attributed to the civil war known as the Anarchy that occurred during the 12th Century between the forces of King Stephen and the Empress Matilda.

The motte at Mount Bures has been estimated to be 33 feet above the current ground level as recently as 1977, though in 1763 the motte was estimated to be 80ft in height. It is likely the motte has suffered significant subsidence over the centuries caused by burrowing animals. A fence has now been erected to prevent further damage to the motte,

A dry ditch surrounds the motte and it has been suggested that the bailey of the castle may have been on the site occupied currently by the parish church, though there is no evidence to support this from the 2011 excavations .

During the 2011 excavations no evidence was found on the summit of the motte to suggest any substantial buildings were ever present on it. Instead, it has been suggested that any building that was on the summit was likely to have been constructed out of wood and would have resembled a watchtower. There was little evidence to suggest that the castle was constantly inhabited.

Mount Bures Castle is located in the village of Mount Bures in Essex. Access to the motte at Mount Bures is free and the site is located directly next door to the village church.

Moat and Motte, Mount Bures Castle
Moat and Motte, Mount Bures Castle
Motte Mount Bures Castle
Motte Mount Bures Castle
Bottom of the Moat, Mount Bures Castle
Bottom of the Moat, Mount Bures Castle