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Historic England Research Records

Chartley Castle

Hob Uid: 1088488
Location :
Staffordshire
Stafford
Stowe-by-Chartley
Grid Ref : SK0108028500
Summary : Primarily a motte and double bailey castle which was altered in the early 13th century to form an enclosure castle. The motte is at the western end of the castle and although on a naturally high point it has been artificially raised. A stone keep and curtain walls with projecting towers were later added to the earthworks. The site was owned by the Earls of Chester from the end of the 11th century and the motte and baileys date from this time. Re-building in stone was underway in 1223 but the castle was abandoned by 1485, and was described by Leland as a ruin in 1545.
More information : [SK01032849] CHARTLEY CASTLE [G.T.] (Remains of) (1)

In 1192 the custody and repairs of Chartley Castle devolved upon the Crown. (2)

The original erection was a mound, 60 feet in diameter with a ditch 80-100 feet wide, the bottom of which varies 23-42 feet below the present top of the mound.
Ranulph built his castle on this mound in the first quarter of the 13th century.
To the east of the mound are inner and outer courts, the inner one being enclosed by a curtain wall which had five towers distributed along the south and east sides.

The outer court is completely ditched, but has an entrance to the south-east, where the ditch is filled-in. Th approach to the castle appears to have been from this direction, and there was probably a bridge at this point. The complex is enclosed by a bank which runs on the outer edges of the various ditches. (See Scrivener's plan and section which is a survey by him based on the OS plan). (3)

Chartley Castle - scheduled. (4)

Chartley Castle occupies the top of a natural hill. The plan and sections in Authy.3 are correct.

In its earliest stage it consisted of a Norman motte (as described in Authy.3) with an inner and outer bailey to its east. That the motte and bailey are contemporary is shown by the way that together they occupy the whole hill-top and by the weakness of the defences of the motte on the east, which in the absence of the baileys would have been the easily most accessible side. The erathworks are in good condition.

In the 13th century the motte and inner bailey were converted into a stone castle, a shell keep being built upon the motte and the bailey strengthened by a curtain wall with semi-drum towers. The masonry was of ashlar with a rubble core.

The shell keep was 10.5m in diameter (internally) and its wall, (still standing to a height of 0.3m) was 3.5m thick. (It is now much restored).

The defences added to the bailey are still fairly well preserved along the south side: towers 1 and 2 (numbering as in plan, Authy.3) still stand two stages high, and the curtain wall, although fragmentary, can still be traced throughout. On the eastern side are the remains of the bases of three towers, but except for a fragment of No.3, they do not rise above the level of the interior of the bailey. Only the lowest courses remain of the curtain wall between Nos.4 and 5. The entrance from the outer bailey was probably between towers 3 and 4, but no trace of it remains. On the north side, apart from the footings of the weast of the curtain, there is no trace of the stone castle.

Across the south-east corner of the ditch of the outer bailey is a causeway from which a road, `A' (now a shallow depression under pasture), led down to the Stafford - Uttoxeter road. (5)

Reports of field surveys F2-F4 unavailable. (6-8)

Ruined. Remains of early Cl3 building within extensive earth-works The enclosure is quadrangular with the remains of the keep at 1 end on a motte. At the lower end are 2 massive circular towers with walls about 12 feet thick and filth slit openings. The site is so overgrown that a careful examination is impossible. Mary Queen of Scots-imprisoned here Jan-Sept, 1586. A.M. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1955
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Eyton RW. 1881. Collections for a History of Staffordshire 2, 21
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Source Number : 3
Source : The North Staffordshire Field Club transactions
Source details : (A Scrivener)
Page(s) : 143-9
Figs. : PLAN
Plates :
Vol(s) : 39, 1904-5
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ancient Monuments in England and Wales 1953 90
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 VJB 18-Feb-1958
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 CFW 9-Jul-1958
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Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F3 TPW 1-Nov-1961
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Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F4 ASP 29-Jan-1975
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Source Number : 9
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : District of Stafford, 15-Jan-1968.
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Late C11 construction
Monument End Date : 1099
Monument Start Date : 1067
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilding in stone underway in 1223
Monument End Date : 1223
Monument Start Date : 1223
Monument Type : Castle, Keep, Curtain Wall, Interval Tower, Angle Tower
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Abandoned by 1485
Monument End Date : 1485
Monument Start Date : 1485
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Ruin in 1545
Monument End Date : 1545
Monument Start Date : 1545
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : ST 3
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 21539
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 444419
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SK 02 NW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 304847
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 304857
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 304862
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 304852
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1579514
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 02 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1958-02-18
End Date : 1958-02-18
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 02 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1958-07-09
End Date : 1958-07-09
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 02 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1961-11-01
End Date : 1961-11-01
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 02 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1975-01-29
End Date : 1975-01-29
Associated Activities : Primary, CHARTLEY CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31