Elsdon: A Medieval Village

Mote Hills at Elsdon stands at the north end of the village and is probably the best preserved medieval motte and bailey castle in Northumberland. It was built by Robert de Umfraville, not long after the Norman Conquest and stands on a natural spur of a hill. The impressive mound is 15m high and 80m in diameter across the base and 46m across the top. The motte is surrounded by a strong rampart on the north and east sides, while the west side is protected by steep natural defences. The bailey lies to the north of the motte and is separated from it by a ditch, some 15m wide. The roughly rectangular bailey measures 72m long by 48m wide and is strongly defended on all sides by a massive earthen rampart. Around the whole castle is a shallow ditch.