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Name:Allesley Castle, Beche Way, Allesley
HER no.:MCT118
Type of Record:Monument


Allesley Castle, a medieval ringwork that survives as an earthwork. Documentary records suggest that buildings stood within the ringwork, although no trace of them is visible. The site is a scheduled monument.

Grid Reference:SP 2990 8004
Former Parish:Allesley

Monument Type(s):

  • BARN (Earlier Medieval to 17th Century - 1140 AD to 1650 AD)
  • CHAPEL (Earlier Medieval to 17th Century - 1140 AD to 1650 AD)
  • DOVECOTE (Earlier Medieval to 17th Century - 1140 AD to 1650 AD)
  • MANOR HOUSE (Earlier Medieval to 17th Century - 1140 AD to 1650 AD)
  • MOAT (Earlier Medieval to 17th Century - 1140 AD to 1650 AD)
  • RINGWORK (Earlier Medieval to 17th Century - 1140 AD to 1650 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument COVSAM6: Motte Castle 150m SSW of Allesley Hall

Full description

1> `At Allesley there is ring earthwork, which is pointed out as a castle and
may be another of same kind as Castle Hills, Fillongley.' Dugdale says: `Upon
brow of hill, in Park here at Allesley, do appear some ruins of buildings,
which as inhabitants say, were of a Castle; but in Record I cannot find that
it was ever so termed.' Presumably refers to this earthwork, though today no
trace of building. Earthworks: circular platform c150' across surrounded by
dry ditch 5'-6' deep, soil thrown up on outside forming bank c4' high for
c2/3's of circumference. Whole site thickly covered with large trees,
difficult to observe detail of earthwork.
2> Circular castle mound surrounded by remains of moat with outer rampart to S.
Surface of mound rather uneven, no definite trace of an encircling rampart.
Of ruins, refered to by Dugdale, no remains exist although many small fragmentss of
sandstone scattered on surface of mound. Mound dug into on N and brick
retaining wall constructed. Moat dry. General condition poor, much overgrown.
4> Roughly circular moated site in moderately strong defensive position near crest of
hill, much overgrown, dry ditch 9m-13m wide x 1.2m-1.5m deep.
5> Hall and grounds Adult Ed Centre and golf course. Scheduled area on S side
bounded by modern houses. Littering and some damage to trees on site. NW side
of mound: remains of 13" wall, c. 4' high x 20' long. SW segment of moat:
bases of 3 concrete structures. Moat deeper on S and W sides with water in
places. Hole dug on NW side of mound, c3' x 2'deep.
7> Mound tree covered, E-W ridge and furrow to W of farm on W (slight).
8> The castle mound…is a substantial circular earthwork motte measuring 50m in diameter and surrounded by a 15m wide ditch. There is no documentary evidence as to who built it and when and no archaeological work has ever been carried out at the site. It is likely that it pre-dates the establishment of the [deer] park (MCT2191) and one theory is that it was an illegally built fortification, constructed without permission of the king, dating from the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda in the 1140s. This would have meant that it was perhaps short-lived and therefore explain why it does not appear in documents…Local historians have keenly debated whether or not the Castle Mound was a genuine castle but most agree that the Manor House and home farm of the Lords of the Manor was sited within what later became the park. A survey of the Manor of Allesley conducted in 1387 records what appears to be a manorial complex consisting of several buildings including a chapel which has fallen into disrepair…it is thought that these buildings were situated on or in the vicinity of the Castle Mound as the description of buildings being 'with in' or 'beyond the bounds' suggests the presence of a moat. The survey also records a stone dovecote which may be the predecessor of the one that survives today close to Allesley Hall. The presence of a dovecote confirms that it would have been a residence of someone of significant status, as the keeping of doves was restricted to aristocracy in the medieval period…The Manor House in the park described as ruinous in 1387 is thought to have been rebuilt in the early post-medieval period, as there are several documentary references to it from the 16th and 17th centuries. However, by 1650 the Manor House appears to have fallen on hard times again…By 1663 Allesley Park along with the Lordship of the Manor had been bought by Thomas Flynt who built a new house, which probably stood where the present Allesley Hall now stands.

<1> Chatwin P, 1951, Castles in Warwickshire, 23 (--ARTICLE). SCT251.

<2> 1951, OS Card, - (--MONOGRAPH). SCT715.

<3> 1967, OS Card, - (--MONOGRAPH). SCT718.

<4> 1952, AM7, - (--MONOGRAPH). SCT500.

<5> 1980, AM12, - (--MONOGRAPH). SCT709.

<6> 1984, AM107, - (--MONOGRAPH). SCT710.

<7> RAF, 1946, RAF Vertical Aerial Photograph Collection, - (-PHOTOGRAPH). SCT632.

<8> Coventry City Council, 2009, Allesley Park Management Plan (--HERITAGE STATEMENT). SCT12.

Sources and Further Reading

<1>SCT251 --ARTICLE: Chatwin P. 1951. Castles in Warwickshire. 23.
<2>SCT715 --MONOGRAPH: 1951. OS Card. -.
<3>SCT718 --MONOGRAPH: 1967. OS Card. -.
<4>SCT500 --MONOGRAPH: 1952. AM7. -.
<5>SCT709 --MONOGRAPH: 1980. AM12. -.
<6>SCT710 --MONOGRAPH: 1984. AM107. -.
<7>SCT632 -PHOTOGRAPH: RAF. 1946. RAF Vertical Aerial Photograph Collection. -.
<8>SCT12 --HERITAGE STATEMENT: Coventry City Council. 2009. Allesley Park Management Plan. Patrick, C.. 11.

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Related records: none recorded

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