Rayleigh Mount
Rayleigh Mount
One of the best Norman motte and bailey castle sites of Essex, a county blessed with several fine examples. The castle mound is set within a ditch surrounded by a wide rampart, which stretches to form a bailey on one side.
Rayleigh Castle existed at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086. It was probably erected by Sweyn of Essex, son of Robert fitz Wymarc, shortly after the Norman Conquest. The castle was in use until the 13th century. Excavations on the site show that the base of the castle mound was reinforced with rubble to shore up the mass of the mound.

The nearby windmill, operated by Rochford District Council, houses a display on the history of the castle mound.