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Cheswardine Castle

In the civil parish of Cheswardine.
In the historic county of Shropshire.
Modern Authority of Shropshire.
1974 county of Shropshire.
Medieval County of Shropshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ71883007
Latitude 52.86737° Longitude -2.41915°

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

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Moated site situated on level ground on the N side of the village...on the highest point of the village-the land slopes away to the N and E. Well preserved rectangular moated site with wide and deep waterfilled moat. The moat arms average c25m in width an c3m in depth except at the SW side where there is a large outward bulge in the moat...Stone built causeways cross both the N and S arms -.. both later (C19?) additions. The island is roughly 30m square and is level with no remains of building foundations. The site is generally well preserved .. except at the SE corner where the moat ditch has been partially infilled...and the inner and outer faces of the moat have been cut back...The site is in a wooded plantation, currently (1981), being felled, with the moat island itself in the process of being cleared and the SE corner being used as the access point for the heavy machinery involved. On the exterior W side of the moat is an 80m long bank, its W side abutting directly onto a lane. It runs NW/SE and averages 1.2m in height and 1.2m in width. Fifty metres to its SE is a similar bank...these banks are probably related to the moat. (Field recording form: Watson Michael D. 1981-Jan-21. Site Visit)

Cheswardine Castle moated site is a well preserved example of this class of monument. The moated island will retain structural and artefactual evidence of the buildings that once stood on the site, which together with the artefacts and organic remains existing in the moat will provide valuable evidence about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants. Organic remains surviving in the moat will also provide information about the changes to the local environment and use of the land. The importance of the site is enhanced by documentary sources which provide ownership information.
The linear bank that runs alongside the moated site will help to provide evidence about the later use of this site.
The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated site, known as Cheswardine Castle, and an associated linear bank. The moated site is considered to be the centre of the manor of Cheswardine which was granted to Hamo (Hamon) le Strange by Henry II in 1155. In 1330 the castle is reported to be of little strength and in 1376 the manor passed from the le Strange family to Richard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey.
The moated site occupies a prominent location in an area of undulating land, 130m north of St Swithun's Church. The water-filled moat defines a square island 30m across. The arms of the moat are all about 28m wide and over 2m deep, with the exception of the southern part of the western arm which has been made wider to form an enlarged pool. The extended moat arm is shown on 18th century estate maps indicating that it is not a modern creation. On one of these maps, a causeway across the southern arm is depicted at the point where a more recent stone causeway has been built. This later causeway is matched by another of the same type across the opposite arm which survives in a ruinous state. Both these causeways are included in the scheduling. There are no upstanding remains of any structures on the island, although embedded cut blocks of red sandstone, notably at the south eastern corner of the island, indicate the nature of some the medieval buildings that survive as buried features.
On the western side of the moated site a linear bank, approximately 90m long and between 8m and 12m wide, has been constructed. It is orientated north west - south east and partly overlies the outer edge of the modified portion of the south western moat arm. The height of this earthwork increases substantially (from about 1.2m to 4m) as it crosses the moat arm. On its western side it is bounded by Lawn Lane, a long established route way. The exact purpose of this bank is unclear, but it is included in the scheduling to preserve its relationship with the moated site. (Scheduling Report)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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