Aldingham Motte, Aldingham

Aldingham Motte, Cumbria and Its Environs in the Medieval Period: Cumbria Archaeological Research Reports No. 5

In the summer of 1968 excavations were carried out under the direction of Brian Davison on the badly eroded seaward side of Aldingham Motte. The results of this work were compiled into a report, however, the publication never came to fruition and the archive remained underused at Kendal Museum. Having become aware of the archive, and how frustratingly close the results of the excavation had come to publication, Daniel Elsworth obtained a grant from the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society in order to produce new specialist reports on some of the finds, utilise scientific dating techniques, and enable completion of the project.

Aldingham Motte is the only site of its kind to have been excavated in Cumbria and while the original fieldwork revealed the basic phasing and development of the structure, some of the finds and the new radiocarbon dates potentially indicate a longer period of use than originally envisaged. Many questions remain unanswered about the site and in the absence of similar results from other local sites it is difficult to know how representative the results from Aldingham are. Examples from further afield, including Ireland, which show early medieval precursors, are considered, and although the evidence at Aldingham is not certain, it is plausible that it too has origins pre-dating the Norman Conquest.

Copies of the report are available here: