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Marchamley Moat Bank

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ594294
Latitude 52.86057° Longitude -2.60445°

Marchamley Moat Bank has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House, and also as a Siege Work although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.


A possible motte... apparently thrown up, or adapted, in 1223 when it was referred to as a 'fortalice'. It contains the remains of an C18 brick-built potato house, and a large pit. (Jackson)

A flat topped mound, situated at Hawkstone Farm, Marchamley; probably a medieval motte attested by documentary evidence of 1223. The document calls it a "fortalice". It is not yet clear if the earthwork was purpose built as a siegework in 1223 or was an existing marcher motte adapted to this purpose in that time of renewed warfare between the Welsh, Marcher Lords and the English crown. The motte mound was adapted in C18 with the insertion of a brick built potato storehouse and pit. (PastScape)

Rex Vic' Salop salutem. Precipimus tibi quod facias heredes Henr' de Aldithel' auxilium de hominibus Comes tui ad firmand quandam fortesleciam suam apud Marchemelegh' par viii dies T. ut supra (T.H. etc. apud Westm' xxvi die Jan. 1223) {Greeting from the King to the Sheriff of Shropshire. We command you to cause the heirs of Henry de Audley, with the help of the Count's men for 8 days, to strengthen a certain fortalice of Marchamley} (Rot. litt. claus. transcription/translation by Philip Charles Davis - please help improve these)

The tenurial history is certainly consistent with an early castle here. 8 days of help from the Counts men does not suggest an intent to build a major fortification. Does this actually suggest some help in refurbishing an existing site, specifically intended as a residence for Henry's wife and children (Henry, died in 1246, his children were apparently children under 5 in 1223 - regardless what is the reason for mentioning the heirs of Henry in this mandate?), possibly at a time when Henry was busy with his numerous royal duties? A fortalice here being a site with the domestic security a high status women would require.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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