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Tutbury Town Defences

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Iron Walls

In the civil parish of Tutbury.
In the historic county of Staffordshire.
Modern Authority of Staffordshire.
1974 county of Staffordshire.
Medieval County of Staffordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK21112910
Latitude 52.85904° Longitude -1.68795°

Tutbury Town Defences has been described as a probable Urban Defence.

There are no visible remains.


Probably embanked as a dependency of castle. Had gates and barriers. Bond records possible Anglo-Saxon earthworks which he puts in his 'of no post-Conquest significance' list.

There is reason to believe that Tutbury had been fortified previous to this reign; for frequent mention is made in the records of those times of the bars (MSS. in Duchy Office) or barriers, and of the gates of the town, and traces are still visible of a vallum and foss, extending from the little park below the castle, completely round the town, to the Fleam or Old Dove, which washes the base of the castle hill on the opposite side: (A part of this fortification still bears the name of Iron Walls, but on what account is not known) if the whole of this area has been covered with buildings, the place must have been much more populous than it is at present; and that it was so, is rendered very probable from the traditionary accounts of its former size, as well as from the fact of many streets being mentioned in ancient writings, the very sites of which are now unknown. (e.g. Dove-street, Market-street, etc. in Duchy MSS) That a great depreciation took place in the value of land in this vicinity, is ascertained from the respective surveys which were made in the reigns of Henry the Fifth and Elizabeth; and no doubt this depreciation was caused by the castle being deserted by its owners, and the town consequently declining in population and importance. (Mosley)

Domesday Book records 42 traders in burgo circa castellum; there are clear traces of a small settlement enclosure to the south of the motte and bailey. (Bond, 2001)

Given map reference is for St Mary's, the parish church, which should be within the defensive circuit. However, it should be noted this was a Benedictine priory church and only became parochial after the priory was dissolved in 1538.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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