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Shamlord Peel

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Shamelhorde; Shamblord; Shamblers

In the civil parish of Northwood.
In the historic county of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Modern Authority of Isle of Wight.
1974 county of Isle of Wight.
Medieval County of Hampshire, Isle of Wight.

OS Map Grid Reference: SZ493929
Latitude 50.73411° Longitude -1.30189°

Shamlord Peel has been described as a probable Urban Defence.

There are no visible remains.


7 Nov. 1339. Commission to John de Weston, John Wyndesore and William de Keleswych, reciting that the oaks lately growing in the King's forest in the Isle of Wight have been thrown down in great numbers by a violent storm of wind, and that for the defence of that isle against the attacks of aliens, the King has ordained that in the port of Shamelhorde in that isle one or two peels, as need require, shall be built with part of the said oaks, and the residue thereof sold to the King's advantage; and appointing the said commissioners to survey the said oaks so thrown down and cause as many as will be necessary for the building of the said peel or peels to be brought to the said port, and the peel or peels to be built there, and to sell the residue of the oaks and receive the money arising from the sale thereof and apply it to the costs of building the peel or peels and to keep the residue of the money, so that they answer at the Exchequer therefor; the King having ordered John de Countevyll, keeper of the said forest, to be intendant. By the guardian and council. Vacated because surrendered (Cal. of Fine Rolls)

Privy Council gave permission given in November 1339 for use of the King's oaks in the Isle of Wight which had been blown down in Parkhurst Forest to be used to build one or two peels to defend the isle from attack. Presumably peel here is meant in the sense of a timber fort, although peel had a variety of uses including fence. Shamelhorde is the old name for Cowes and Rob Martin places this/these fortifications at East Cowes. This is too early for these to be artillery forts and they were not castles. Gatehouse has classified these as urban defences, since they seem to have intended to defend the port of Shamlord. The entry was vacated which may well suggest no work took place but it would most unlikely, even if these 'peels' were built that anything would remain.
The given map reference is for St John's Church, dating from at least the C12. This was, presumably, the parish church of Shamlord although the port itself must have been on bank of the River Medina (much of the medieval settlement of the island was dispersed). The rather elderly VCH places it 'just above the present steam ferry to East Cowes' at about SZ499953 although the port and its landing places may have moved around with changes in the river sands etc.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:07

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