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Woolstaston Castle Bank

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO45029845
Latitude 52.58107° Longitude -2.81282°

Woolstaston Castle Bank has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Castle Bank motte and bailey castle survives well and is a good example of its class. The partial excavation of the site in 1965 demonstrated the presence of valuable archaeological deposits and further evidence relating to the occupation of the site is known, from these excavations, to remain within the monument. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed will survive sealed beneath the mound and in the ditch fill. Such motte and bailey castles contribute valuable information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and social structure of the countryside during the medieval period. The proximity of the parish church, rectory and manor house to the motte and bailey is also of interest, as the three sites together illustrate the development of this type of settlement.
The monument includes the earthworks of a motte and bailey castle situated on a small hill overlooking ground falling to the east. The motte is visible as a well defined mound 18m in diameter at base rising 3m to a flattened summit 9m in diameter. There is no visible trace of a surrounding ditch from which the material would have been quarried to construct the mound, though one survives as a buried feature 2m wide. The existence of this ditch was demonstrated in 1965 when a small excavation revealed a ditch with a post hole on its outer edge. Finds from this exploration indicated that the site was occupied during the 12th and 13th centuries. The roughly triangular bailey lies adjacent to the motte on its east side and is coextensive with the top of the natural hill, using the natural slopes of the hill to create a strong position. The southern side of the bailey is defined by a steep scarp slope which falls 4m to a deep hollow way which lies at its base and is occupied by the present road. Around the north side the natural slopes of the hill have been enhanced creating a steep scarp averaging 1.4m high. There is also some evidence for a counterscarp bank 0.5m high, apparently designed to strengthen the defences around this side of the enclosure. There are no visible indications of a ditch surrounding the bailey although the hollow way on its south side may follow its original line. A small underground reservoir (of unknown size), has been constructed in the north angle of the bailey (EH Scheduling report 1994)

WOOLSTASTON (SO/45098S). Before a reservoir was built in the bailey of the castle the area was excavated by R. T. Rowley and the Shropshire Archaeological Society for M.P.B.W. No structures were found but 12th- and 13th-century pottery confirmed that the castle was abandoned in the early 14th century, though the surrounding ditch probably remained open until it was deliberately filled in the early 17th century. (Med. Arch. 1966)

The small Domesday Manor of Vlestanestune was held by Robert fitz Corbet. The manor, of itself, may not have been large enough to support this castle but Robert had four other manors in Condover Hundred and over a dozen manor in total, including Montgomery. This site may therefore represent his caput for his Condover Hundred holdings.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:31

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