Rochdale Castle – “the castle of Rachedal”

Rochdale Castle once stood on top of Castle Hill in Sparth where there is now a large square stone built house. The house, some streets and the local pub (The Castle Inn) are all named after this medieval fortification which dates back to early Norman or perhaps Saxon times. It would have been a 'motte and bailey’ castle or fortification taking advantage of its position high on a hill looking over the surrounding area of old Rochdale.

The 'motte' would have been a raised earth mound in the form of a small, often artificial hill and topped with a wooden watch tower, timber built hall or keep. The earth for the mound would have been taken from a ditch, dug around the motte or around the whole castle.

The 'bailey' was an enclosure defended by a rampart and a ditch surrounded by a wooden fence called a palisade and overlooked by the motte. Inside were buildings to house the garrison and used by farmers or slaves that 'belonged' to the Lord of the Castle.

The castle was abandoned in the 13th century, and the earliest records of any building, probably a dwelling house and farmstead, on the site dates from 1610.

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Motte and Bailey