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Historic England Research Records

Eccleshall Castle

Hob Uid: 75490
Location :
Staffordshire
Stafford
Eccleshall
Grid Ref : SJ8286829570
Summary : Remains of a moated fortified manor house or castle built in the 14th century as an episcopal residence. During the Civil War the castle was besieged by Parliamentarians who demolished it before 1646. The 14th century remains include a nine-sided corner tower, the bridge over the moat and the stone retaining walls to the moat. A plan drawn up after the Civil War shows a second tower, joined to the first by a hall and chapel range. The present house was rebuilt circa 1695 incorporating some 14th century fabric. It is L-shaped in plan, built of stone with tiled roofs. Elements of the castle, moat and probable post medieval landscaping are also visible as earthworks and structures on air photographs and 2m resolution lidar. The features were mapped as part of the Staffordshire National Mapping Programme project and are extant on the latest 2010 vertical photography or 2011 lidar.
More information : (SJ 82782956) Castle (NR) (AD 1200) Moat Tower (NR). (1)

Eccleshall Manor was the property of the Bishops of Lichfield "as early as the compiling of Domesday Book". "About the year 1200 King John gave his licence to Bishop Muschamp to embattle Eccleshall castle (a) and from this time the Manor House here became a true and proper castle, though perhaps it might be moated and obtain the name of a castle before". During the Civil War the castle was besieged by the Parliamentary forces "who battered, demolished and took it before 1646".

In 1695 the brick South front was added, probably by Bishop Lloyd. (2) "Of the castle of Eccleshall only few remains now exist, but there is sufficient to show that it consisted of a square enclosure bounded by a large moat. Both the enclosure and the moat were fenced by strong stone walls and at one angle of this enclosure there still remains one of the towers, and it is probable that there was a similar tower at each of the other three angles. The entrance to the castle was by a bridge of two pointed arches still remaining across the moat. In general arrangement the plan resembles that of Caverswall Castle (SJ 94 SE 13). The existing tower is at the NE angle and is of nine sides. The walls 7 ft in thickness. It is recorded that Bishop Walter Langton, who occupied the see of Lichfield from 1296 to 1321, enlarged and repaired the castle, and the present remains accord in style and character, with this period. (3)

Mr Carter confirmed that the property is known as Eccleshall Castle. The present house was rebuilt in the 19th century when a fragment of the original castle (indicated at SJ 82792956) was found and incorporated into the house. (4)

The fragment pointed out by Mr Carter consists of short length of regularly-coursed, moulded ashlar having a pronounced batter and probably part of a base - plinth of large buttress. Other stone walls at the rear of the house contain re-used worked and
moulded stones. The other surviving portions of the castle have been incorporated into the gardens of the house and are accurately described by Authy 3 and shown on the VCH plan. The tower is well preserved; some of the window-heads are modern replacements. (5)

Eccleshall Castle, a large modern residence. Recent clearance of outbuildings with a consequent reduction in size of the house
itself on the W (rear) side, has revealed patchy introduction of re-used ashlar masonry, but no 'in situ' remains of the Md castle were found.

The moat, dug along the E and S sides of the castle, thus isolating it from high ground, the W and N sides probably flooded by a dammed River Sow, measures, overall 80.0 m N-S and 130.0 m E-W, and is 21.0 m in width and 3.0 m in depth.

The retaining walls together with the bridge and NE corner tower are maintained in good condition.

Published 1:2500 survey revised. (6)

Eccleshall Castle, Tower and Bridge. Grade II. (7)

Eccleshall Castle and Tower Grade 2*. Bridge Grade 2. (8)

In excavations during 1973 and 1974 a latrine shaft within the NE tower yielded 18th century material. It had been cleaned subsequent to the destruction of the castle during and after the seige in 1643. The east arm of the moat was sectioned, revealing wood and leather finds in a waterlogged layer of black earth and silt above the subsoil. This layer was covered by rubble containing many large building stones which had been dumped to raise the level of the ground above the surface of the lake which formed the water barrier on the north side of the castle. It seems likely that the Civil War destruction provides a terminal date for the pottery and glass in and beneath the layers of the moat. (9)

SJ 827295. Eccleshall Castle (tower, retaining wall and bridge).
Scheduled. (10)

Eccleshall Castle. Largely of circa 1695 when the castle, which had been a manor place of the Bishops of Lichfield for many centuries, was rebuilt by Bishop Lloyd. The building incorporates fragments of the C14 structure which was largely destroyed in the Civil War. The fenestration and interior refashioned late C18. Stone with hipped tile roof and stone stacks; 2 storeys; sash windows; flat stone string-courses; moulded stone eaves cornice. The main facade has a 3 window projecting wing at either side, each having a moulded wood pilaster doorcase with triglyph frieze and modillion cornice. Twelve window elevation to east and nine to south. Later brick additions at the rear, which incorporates sandstone rubble fragments of the C14 building. The interior contains good late C18 moulded plaster ceiling in the large Drawing Room; also contemporary doorcases and good fireplaces in the 2 Drawing Rooms. Stands back from road in extensive grounds.

Remaining moat walls. Mainly C14. Restored. Stone retaining walls,built to a slight batter,lining the moat which has been dry since mediaeval times.

Bridge. Probably C14. Across the moat. Stone and of 2 spans with pointed arches; plain parapet.

Tower, probably C14. Part of the defences of the mediaeval house. Stone; reduced to 2 storeys and roofless; small pointed-trefoiled window openings. The tower is 9 sided, and probably unique in this respect.

Authority 11 is the full text of authority 8. (11)

(SJ 82782956). Eccleshall Castle (NAT)
(SJ 82882953). Moat (NR)
(SJ 82882959). Tower (NR). (12)

Late 13th/14th century episcopal residence. Plan drawn soon after Civil War shows two towers, joined by a hall and chapel range. (13)

Listed by Cathcart King. (14)

Elements of the castle and moat are visible as earthworks and structures on air photographs and 2m resolution lidar, centred at SJ 8284 2956. The southern and eastern arms of the moat are visible as earthworks, and elements of the retaining walls and a corner tower are visible as structures. Evidence of post medieval landscaping is visible on the east side of the enclosure platform where stairs have been built into the side of the moat, and a slight scarp in the former area of the northern arm of the moat is likely to be also. Earthworks mapped adjacent to the trackway to the east of the moat form a platform also likely to be associated with post medieval landscaping. The features were mapped as part of the Staffordshire National Mapping Programme project and are extant on the latest 2010 vertical photography or 2011 lidar. (15-16)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1925
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Bibliotheca Topo Brit XXI (The Hist and Ants at Eccleshall Manor and castle 1784, 9-16 (Samuel Pegge
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 9
Source : Post-medieval archaeology : the journal of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology
Source details : (J Cherry)
Page(s) : 241
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Sep-75
Source Number : 10
Source : List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands
Source details :
Page(s) : 97
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Mar-78
Source Number : 11
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Boro of Stafford Apr 1980 11-12
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Source Number : 12
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1967
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 13
Source : Staffordshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 126
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Source Number : 14
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) : 450
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 15
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SJ8229 19-JUL-2010
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Source Number : 16
Source : Light detection and ranging (lidar) airborne survey
Source details : LIDAR SJ8229 Environment Agency DSM 19-JUL-2011
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Monasticon III 231 (Dugdale)
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Source Number : 3
Source : The North Staffordshire Field Club transactions
Source details : (C Lynam)
Page(s) : 188
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 31 - 1896-7
Source Number : 4
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : R2 WCW 09-JAN-58
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Source Number : 4b
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Oral Mr W E Carter Owner
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 WCW 09-JAN-58
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 ASP 02-OCT-74
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Source Number : 7
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Stone RD April 1961 5-6
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Source Number : 8
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Boro of Stafford 1980 11-12
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Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C14
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Castle, Fortified Manor House, Bishops Palace, Bridge, Revetment, Moat, Angle Tower
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Ruined Building, Structure, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post 1646
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1646
Monument Type : Castle, Fortified Manor House, Angle Tower, Hall House, Chapel
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : c1695
Monument End Date : 1705
Monument Start Date : 1685
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C18
Monument End Date : 1799
Monument Start Date : 1700
Monument Type : Garderobe, Platform, Garden Feature, Bank (Earthwork), Earthwork
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Altered late C18
Monument End Date : 1799
Monument Start Date : 1767
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Staffordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MST7651
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 272133
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 21525
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : ST 227
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Staffordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MST213
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 272134
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 272135
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 272136
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Staffordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MST17901
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Staffordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MST5990
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Staffordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MST7652
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Staffordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MST7650
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SJ 82 NW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SJ 82 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1958-01-09
End Date : 1958-01-09
Associated Activities : Primary, ECCLESHALL CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1972-01-01
End Date : 1975-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SJ 82 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1974-10-02
End Date : 1974-10-02
Associated Activities : Primary, ECCLESHALL CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1987-01-01
End Date : 1989-12-31