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Cheveley Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Chevele; The Moats

In the civil parish of Cheveley.
In the historic county of Cambridgeshire.
Modern Authority of Cambridgeshire.
1974 county of Cambridgeshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL67876131
Latitude 52.22441° Longitude 0.45630°

Cheveley Castle has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

The castle building stood on a rectangular platform which measures some 45m north west to south east by 38m, and is surrounded by a formidable V-shaped moat. The moat which was probably always dry, ranges from 20m to 25m in width and between 5m and 6m in depth. The considerable quantity of upcast from its construction must have been removed from the site as the island platform is only raised by about 1m above the level of its surroundings. The platform, or ward, was enclosed by a curtain wall of bonded flint rubble, perhaps with dressed stonework for architectural details. Fragments of the coarse stone foundations still remain visible, partly buried in a slight bank along the edges of the two longer sides, and slight rounded protrusions at the four corners clearly indicate the position of corner turrets. Three of the corner turrets are marked by rounded depressions within these projections, and the lower coarse around the outer wall of the eastern turret can still be seen. The surface of the platform is generally level showing no signs of collapsed building materials or wall foundations. It is thought that it originally contained a variety of timber structures, including the lord's main hall and other buildings such as a chapel, kitchens, store rooms and accommodation for guests and retainers, some of which were probably set against the inner face of the curtain wall. The ward has not been excavated or significantly disturbed, and the buried remains of these buildings are considered to survive well. Access to the interior was provided by a drawbridge across the centre of the north western arm of the moat. This has since been replaced by a causeway, although the rubble foundations for the bridge supports remain standing to heights of about 1.5m to either side of the causeway where it abuts the platform. The castle is thought to have been built by Sir John de Pulteney, financier and four times Mayor of London, who was granted a licence to crenellate the dwelling place of his manor in Cheveley in 1341. The resulting structure, which is the only Edwardian castle in Cambridgeshire, is more likely to have served as a mark of Pulteney's status than as a military stronghold, and to have provided a prestigious hunting lodge as the centre piece of a deer park established shortly thereafter. (EH scheduling report 1996)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1341 Oct 6 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
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This record last updated on Saturday, March 29, 2014

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