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290105-12. © NRT, 2005
Castle Stede, near Hornby, Lancashire, UK, 29 January, 2005

Acknowledged as the finest example of motte-and-bailey earthworks in Lancashire, Castle Stede has been here for almost a millennium, having been constructed for the Montbegon family shortly after the 1086 Domesday survey. The photo is taken from within the boundary bank of the outer enclosure, the 'bailey', next to the gateway. The 15m-high mound, now colonised by trees, was the the inner fort, the 'motte'.
It's thought that the original wood and earth structure was rebuilt using stone, but that's no longer apparent. Castle Stede was abandoned after the current Hornby Castle was constructed ~1km away in 1362-3 and the village developed around the Wenning crossing. Presumably this ruin was plundered for building stone over the following centuries.

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Day in the life... © NRT, 2005