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Historic England Research Records

Lichfield Castle

Hob Uid: 306620
Location :
Staffordshire
Lichfield
Lichfield
Grid Ref : SK1190009500
Summary : Lichfield Castle is said to have existed in the period between 1129 to 1148, probably in the Wade/Frog Street area, although place-name evidence may indicate that the allusion to a castle may derive from a possible Saxon burh. There may also have been a timber phase between the late 11th to early 12th centuries. There are no remains, but Richard II is said to have spent Christmas 1397 there and was confined there two years later; Castle Field was recorded in the south part of the town circa 1540, and Castle Ditch in the east part in 1798. An account written in 1347 by a canon of Lichfield states that Roger de Clinton (1129-1148) fortified the castle of Lichfield.
More information : Castle at Lichfield in which Richard II spent Christmas 1397 and two years later was confined. It stood on an eminence on the south side of Tamworth Street: SK 119095. (1)

No evidence of a castle seen in the area. (2)

Shopping precinct now built over the site and no evidence of a castle seen during the building work. (3)

(SK 118096) Lichfield Castle existed in the period between 1129-48, probably in the Wade/Frog Street area (4b). There are no remains, but Castle Field was recorded in the south part of the town circa 1540 (4c), and Castle Ditch in the east part in 1798 (4d). An account written in 1347 by a canon of Lichfield states that Roger de Clinton (1129-1148) fortified the castle of Lichfield. (4)(5)

Listed by Cathcart King as a vanished castle. (6)

There also appears to have been an Anglo-Saxon fort on Borrowcop Hill south of the later town centre. Before the 17th century the hill was known as "Burghwaycop", with the Old English element burh- suggesting a fortified place. The same element is found in another local place name, "Oxbury", north of the hill by the town ditch. The ditch in that area was known as "Castle Ditch", thought to be a reference to the hill-top fortification: i.e. a potential Anglo-Saxon burh is thought to be the origin of the references to the "Castle". (7)

The line of the ditch between Tamworth Street and St. John Street became known as "Castle Ditch", thought to have taken its name form an Anglo-Saxon fortification on Borrowcop Hill to the SE. The eastern part of Castle Ditch is recorded as a lane by the early 1340s, with houses in 1781. The remains of Castle Ditch appear to have survived until 1849. (7)

There is some doubt as to whether a castle existed in Lichfield. However, the tradition of a castle in the town is a very strong one. My personal view is that there was a timber castle of some sort in the town in the early 12th century (probably started at the same time as Tamworth and Stafford, i.e. circa 1070) but that the work by Clinton was probably done on the cathedral close, and the castle was basically defunct at this time. [Information ex. Mr Philip Davis] (8)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 2, 1789, 377-392 (W Camden: ed R Gough)
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Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 WCW 05-MAY-58
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 7
Source : A history of the county of Stafford, volume 14 : Lichfield
Source details :
Page(s) : 7, 60
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : E-mail on Pastscape database record by Mr Philip Davis, 02-SEP-2006
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 DJC 08-APR-74
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 3a
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Inf J T Gould
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Source Number : 4
Source : Staffordshire archaeology
Source details : 1972: D M Palliser
Page(s) : 06-Jul
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 4B
Source : Norman Castles in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 225
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1968
Source Number : 4C
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : The Itinerary of John Leland (ed L Toulmin Smith) 2 1908
Page(s) : 99
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4D
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : History and Antiquities of Staffordshire, 1798 (S Shaw)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 5
Source : The North Staffordshire Field Club transactions
Source details : (T Barns)
Page(s) : 123-8
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 48 - 1913
Source Number : 6
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 452
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : possible Saxon burh
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 450
Monument Type : Burh
Evidence : Placename Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : possible timber castle 1070 to early C12
Monument End Date : 1132
Monument Start Date : 1070
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : recorded 1129-48
Monument End Date : 1148
Monument Start Date : 1129
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Placename Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Recorded 1397-99
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1397
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SK 10 NW 34
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 10 NW 34
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1958-05-05
End Date : 1958-05-05
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 10 NW 34
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1974-04-08
End Date : 1974-04-08
Associated Activities : Primary, LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL SCHOOL
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31