The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Wolverhampton town defences

In the civil parish of Wolverhampton.
In the historic county of Staffordshire.
Modern Authority of Wolverhampton.
1974 county of West Midlands.
Medieval County of Staffordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO91679851
Latitude 52.58469° Longitude -2.12442°

Wolverhampton town defences has been described as a Urban Defence but is rejected as such.

There are no visible remains.


Map of 1750 shows a large ditch running east-west to the north of, and parallel to Bilston Street It forms the back boundary of buildings fronting on to Bilston Street at this time. To its north is Piper's Meadow. Baker suggests that the ditch may be the surviving remnant of a town defence cutting off the spur of land rising up to St Peter's church to the N. There is no other evidence for town defences, however, and we need not a minor medieval market town to have been defended. Evaluation by Lang to determine extent of survival prior to redevelopment. Radar survey showed series of anomalies, but no clear trace of ditch. 6 trenches to ascertain extent of ditch & any associated features. Most pottery probably C18. Medieval pot from feature which was probably part of pit uncovered by Malam. Lack of finds indicates that area evaluated was peripheral in post medieval period. Limited preservation could mean that function of ditch may not be known. However report indicates that earlier date than post medieval seems unlikely. Suggests function of ditch may have been a) attacking or defensive position from Civil War or b) ditch to drain water off Pipers Meadow & protect buildings fronting Bilston St. Concludes that although there is possibility of feature appearing in course of development, no general horizon of archaeology across site requiring preservation. (Wolverhampton and Walsall HER)

In 1982 2 machine cut sections were made of a medieval ditch running E-W along the rear of properties fronting onto Bilston Street. The ditch is shown on a plan of 1750 as being water-filled and extending over a distance of c150m. It may have been associated either with the 'Great Hall' to the south or the boundary between the manors of Deanery and Stow Heath. The ditch measured 3m wide X 2.50m deep (below present ground level). A pit, containing a similar fill to that within the ditch, lay immediately to the south. Firm dating evidence was not obtained for either feature. A possible C12-13 sherd was recovered from the ditch and a possible C13 sherd from the pit. Both, however, were from unstratified positions. (PastScape)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact