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Newhall Tower

In the civil parish of Newhall .
In the historic county of Cheshire.
Modern Authority of Cheshire.
1974 county of Cheshire.
Medieval County of Cheshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ60784550
Latitude 53.00535° Longitude -2.58578°

Newhall Tower has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle, and also as a probable Tower House.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


Castle in this vicinity is mentioned in 1275. PastScape reports this as a tower house. 'Newhall Tower is said to have been built around 1227 by the lords Audley. Recorded descriptions imply a fortified manor, perhaps with a pele tower, and having a moat.' (Cheshire HER)

A tower house is documented at Newhall in 1275 when the manor was in the hands of the Audley family. The 'New Hall appears to have been built around 1227 when this land came into the hands of the Audleys, and may have been fortified from this earlier date. Geoffry son of Geoffry Griffin of Barberton held 2 caracutes of land from Nicholas of Audley in return for 3 men at Newhall in times of war. The castle was still in use in 1363 under the Audley family. Meadows referred to as 'Newhall Parke' in documents of the 16th and 17th century may evidence the existence of a park associated with the castle.
Leland recorded that a place of the Lords of Audley in Cheshire between Combermere and Nantwich was now down, but that there was moats (or mottes?) and fair water in the later 16th century. In the later 17th century Dugdale also noted remains of a fortification at Newhall, although nothing was still evident by the time Ormerond published his history of Cheshire in 1819.
A series of earthworks consiting of a circular central mound surrounded by a larger, sub-square ditch that is partially infilled and continues at least as far as the road if not further on the eastern side may be the site of this castle. The tithe award map suggests part of the site may have functioned as part of a watermill and mill-pool complex. (PastScape)

Leland writes 'now down'. Recently a search of air photo's located the site in the centre of modern hamlet of Newhall, site partly overlaided by factory (a late C12 coin hoard found when building this factory in 1939). "On the western side of the road are the visible remains of the castle consisting of an off-centre circular mound set within a square ditched depression. This is set within the remains of a large sub-rectilinear enclosure that survives as a mixture of earthworks and cropmarks. Significant quantities of dressed sandstone and architectural fragments have been found at the site and re-used, including pillar bases." (Anon, CSG 2007)

Fradley (2009) suggests this may have been a small castle of the Malbank barons of Nantwich. It may have had a circular tower or donjon of mid to late C12 date. It is associated with a much larger set of landscaping including two deers parks and Combermere Abbey (Founded 1133 at SJ608454 2.5 km SW). Fradley appears to be suggesting the castle was built after the foundation of the Abbey and as a new site for the relatively minor Malbank family to view their large financial and spiritual investment in the Abbey. Alternatively it may be a existing minor earthwork castle of the family which grew in importance after the abbey foundation and was then developed in stone. It appears to have dropped a little in importance after the wealthy Audley family obtained the manor in the late C13 although they continued to use the site, most probably as a hunting lodge. In the late C14 the older building had been replaced by a timber-built complex, although the gatehouse remained. At some point the round tower on the mound was replaced by a windmill (a supplement to a major water mill), the manorial court moved to Newhall Court Inn, and the family residence moved, after the Dissolution, to the Abbey where the deer park continued to keep its function.
The mound, which was not significant enough to be recorded on the 1897 6" OS Map, was bulldozed level in 2007 and other elements of the earthworks of the site have been lost in recent years by a number of developments. Fradley's investigation of the site occurred after this event as a 'rescue' exercise.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:46

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