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Shotwick Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ350704
Latitude 53.22685° Longitude -2.97608°

Shotwick Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Motte and bailey castle on the crest of a steep escarpment above the east bank of the former course of the River Dee. Its defensive position is enhanced by two steep sided watercourses flanking it on the north and south sides. The motte itself is a small mound, hexagonal in plan and 40m by 20m at the top. From limited excavation in C19 there appears to be the foundations of a stone keep surviving to a depth of 2.3m under the turf. The motte ditch surrounds the motte and is about 25m wide and 3m deep. This would have been flooded at high tide. To south east is a small bailey 38m wide at the top. Built by Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, during C11. Under various owners formed part of the defence of the borders with the Welsh until 1281 when peace was finally made with the rulers of Wales. In 1327 the manor was emparked as a royal game park for the recreation of Edward III. The last major repairs are documented in 1371. (PastScape)

Shotwick was one of the castles of the earldom of Chester that came into the King's hands in 1237. Although it commanded a ford over the River Dee, it was never of more than minor importance, and when the Black Prince visited in 1353, at which time it was not even garrisoned, it was described as a manor rather than a castle. Last major repairs documented in 1371. (HKW)

An archaeological field investigation was carried out in Dec 1995-Jan 1996 and identified a medieval formal garden on the castle site.
Isolated from medieval settlement. This does seem to be a border defence post, built for military and administrative reasons in the C11 but maintained as a convenient 'grace and favour' manor near the port of Chester, complete with ornamental ponds, gardens and a deer park. Did this manor lose it's usefulness, as a stop on the way to Ireland (important in a time of sail when one had to wait for the right weather), when Chester stopped being a port?
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:46

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