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Olivers Mount, Shrawley

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Shrawley.
In the historic county of Worcestershire.
Modern Authority of Worcestershire.
1974 county of Hereford and Worcester.
Medieval County of Worcestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO813654
Latitude 52.28669° Longitude -2.27540°

Olivers Mount, Shrawley has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.


The remains of a fortified manor house of the early 13th or 14th century at Oliver's Mount (SO 81316543) were excavated in 1928-1930. Foundations were found of the walls of a courtyard with octagonal corner towers having a 2ft square tower, which appeared to have been destroyed by fire on its east side. Below this tower and outside the courtyard was an oblong chamber. Against the base of the NW corner tower of the courtyard a bank of cinders with iron slag suggests later iron-working. The position commanded an important ford on a road from Droitwich towards Wales and there is a tradition that the ruins were used to mask guns during the Civil War: after which they were destroyed. (PastScape ref. Masterman 1930)

Site commanded much frequented ford. No traces of building on hill before digging 'small amount of labour' exposed lower courses of walls, built in local red sandstone blocks. In all square tower 27' x 27', oblong chamber overlooking the river, octagonal tower and some portions of wall uncovered. Central tower: traces of destruction by fire, bed of ashes also under foundation wall. Against base of octagonal tower, traces of iron working. Belonged to 'Potiers' of Beauchamps, fell to crown at battle of Barnet. There is a local tradition that the ruins were used to mask guns during civil war and that walls entirely razed to ground at that time. (Worcestershire and Worcester City HER)

Shrawley Castle was built around the year 1100. After the Norman Conquest and the Domesday Book , Shrawley was acquired through marriage by the Beauchamps of Elmley Castle, from the heiress of Urso de Abetot, Sheriff of Worcester. For about the next 300 years, lieutenants to the Beauchamps, the Le Poers, occupied the castle. They were lords of the manor of Shrawley until the last of their line, Aline le Poher, fell out with the Church and was excommunicated in the mid 1300s. The manor passed back to the Beauchamps who dismantled the castle in favour of their other castle, Holt Castle, 2 miles downstream. The Shrawley Castle then became a quarry site of quality building stone by locals till the English Civil War when the Royalists used what was left as a gun emplacement. (Headland Archaeology)

The Ferry here served Great Shrawley, for there were once two hamlets; one, the smaller, clustered round the church and the larger and original one, described as Great Shrawley which has now disappeared. It stood at the ford crossing the Severn beneath the cliff known as Oliver's Mount, which in medieval times had a castle guarding the ford, like the one at Holt, but which was destroyed during the Wars of the Roses, or earlier.
The ford must have been very shallow at times, for it is recorded that the Ombersley men often did not wait for the ferry, but walked across the Severn with the greatest ease. (H.W. Gwilliam 1982 in Worcestershire History Encyclopaedia online)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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