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Greasley Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Griseleia; Gryseleye; Griseley

In the civil parish of Greasley.
In the historic county of Nottinghamshire.
Modern Authority of Nottinghamshire.
1974 county of Nottinghamshire.
Medieval County of Nottinghamshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK491470
Latitude 53.01915° Longitude -1.27028°

Greasley Castle has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


Greasley Castle, a fortified manor house, was called a castle from 1340 when a licence to crenellate his dwelling at 'Gryseleye' was granted to Nicholas de Cantelupe by Edw. III. The castle and lands passed through the hands of succeeding owners; the last recorded being Sir John Manners, early 17th c. 'Throsby (1797) states that "the mansion of Nicholas de Cantelupe ... is totally destroyed except a plain wall or two." 'The remains of the house, including a wall almost 5ft thick and a 14th c. square-headed window, are incorporated in the farm buildings (of Greasley Castle Farm). Trial excavations, in the summer of 1933, disclosed part of the foundations of a round tower, 20ft in diameter, at the NW corner of the building. No sign of foundations was found at the NE corner over at a depth of nearly 6 feet, but broken C17 (kitchen) pottery was found at a depth of 3'6" and below. This discovery and Thorsby's statement about the remains of the mansion seems to suggest a date about 1700 as the probable time at which Greasley was abandoned and its destruction begun'. (PastScape ref. Herbert Green)

Manorial stronghold, "Greasley-Seven miles north-west from Nottingham are the ruins of Greasley Castle, built amid earthen defences. A length of vallum on the south of the building, a fosse at right angles, and two other ramparts apparently formed the boundaries of two courts. South-west of the castle is a long length of rampart; at the west end it returns north for a distance of 300ft and at its eastern extremity is a similar return, the angle thus formed is moated and contains a series of parallel hollows. This was no doubt the manorial fish stew and though high and dry on a sloping hillside there is evidence that water once flowed from this spring-fed stew-pond. The rampart of earth south-east is high enough to have held back the water to fill the four stews, though the base of them is 5ft higher than that of the moat". (VCH)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1340 April 5 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


The entire area bounded by the earthworks is a SAM, the buildings (house and farm buildings) are all Grade 2 listed. Some earthworks were destroyed when the adjacent graveyard was extended in the mid C19. Given that the 1933 excavations were carried out over only two days, and the holes were backfilled at the end of each day it is doubtful whether much credence can be given to the conclusions reached given the paucity of remains revealed. The cellar of the apparently Georgian house much older, probably medieval in date, and may once have formed part of the castle. Gatehouse thanks Richard Skinner for some of this infomation.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:51

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