Motte, Stary Kiełbów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

The motte in Stary Kiełbów is a remnant of a small guard fortification which was a seat of a knight during the Middle Ages, situated on a route from Radom to Grójec.

Location and description

The motte is located in the western part of the village, approx. 200 m away from a road, behind buildings. It is surrounded by waterlogged meadows by the Tymianka stream.

The motte has the shape of a truncated cone surrounded by a moat. The earthen structure is about 4 m in width and about 35 m in diameter. The central part of the motte measures 11.5 m by 6 m and is lowered by approx. 1.5 m in relation to the crown of the rampart. The moat is 14-20 metres wide. The motte is surrounded by meadows and arable land; the monument itself is now a wasteland.


The findings made during archaeological investigations of the motte in Kiełbów indicate that the site dates back to the mid-13th century - mid-14th century. The end of use of the structure is most likely associated with the construction of a large fortified settlement in the village of Stary Gózd located about 2 km to the west of the motte in Kiełbów, which was undertaken in the early years of the reign of Casimir the Great.

Condition and results of archaeological research

Surface surveys of the motte in Stary Kiełbów were carried out in the 1960s. Excavations of the site were led by Z. W. Pyzik in 1965. Verification research was conducted by G. Kotkowski in the 1970s. In 1984, the site was registered during the surface surveys carried out within the framework of the “Archaeological Picture of Poland” project.

Research excavations were opened in the central (1965) and western (1978-79) part of the structure. The findings from archaeological investigations revealed that the complex in Kiełbów consisted of three phases. The remains of the first settlement level were found identified under the ramparts, only based on the results of drilling operations. Therefore, researchers were not able to determine the date of origin of this phase, form and layout of the garden. After the fire which happened around the mid-13th century a fortified settlement was erected on an artificial embankment surrounded by a moat. After another fire which broke out in the early 14th century the fortified settlement was rebuilt. Its surface area was smaller at that time. The motte was topped with a wooden, rectangular tower building which measured 6 m by 11.5 m. According to Z. W. Pyzik, it had probably a ground floor and two overground storey, but this was only a hypothesis. An investigation of the ground floor revealed the remains of an oven/hearth and a large number of fragments of ceramic vessels. The remains of a wooden pillar in clay on the edge of a hollow and a large amount of pugging once covering the walls of a building can be considered as evidence of the existence of a second storey. The fortified settlement in this form was functioning until the mid-14th century.

Archeological investigations of the motte uncovered armour and weapon pieces, including spurs, crossbow bolts. This may be proof of the guard function of the motte located on a trade route connecting Radom to Mazovia in the 14th century.

The motte is located on private land in the western part of the village, in the middle of a road between buildings and the Tymianka stream.

Compiled by Agnieszka Oniszczuk, National Heritage Board of Poland, 17.06.2015 r.


  • Cieślak-Kopyt M. Micke I., Skubicha E., Twardowski W., Radomskie - alfabet wykopalisk. Przewodnik archeologiczny, Radom 2004, pp. 69-70.
  • Gąssowski J., Cmentarzysko w Końskich na tle zagadnienia południowej granicy Mazowsza we wczesnym średniowieczu, [in:] Materiały wczesnośredniowieczne, vol. 2 (1950), Warsaw 1952, pp. 79-80.
  • Nierychlewska A., Budownictwo obronne powiatu radomskiego w okresie od XIII do XVIII wieku, Radom 2002, pp. 151-155.
  • Pyzik Z. W., Grodzisko stożkowate w Kiełbowie Starym, pow. Białobrzegi,  „Rocznik Muzeum Świętokrzyskiego” 1970, Vol. 6, pp. 461-485.
  • Wilczyńska M., Ziemia radomska między Mazowszem a Sandomierzem w średniowieczu, ”Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej” 1967, Y. XV, no. 1, pp. 105-117.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: poł. XIII – poł. XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Stary Kiełbów
  • Location: Voivodeship mazowieckie, district białobrzeski, commune Stara Błotnica
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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