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HER Number (PRN):05297
Name:Town defences, Ellesmere
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Conservation Area: Ellesmere

Monument Types

Summary

Ellemere medieval town defences. It is not known where the defences were situated or even if they were ever built.

Parish:Ellesmere Urban, North Shropshire, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SJ43SW
Grid Reference:SJ 4029 3486

Related records: None recorded

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA6440 - 2007 DBA and site visit at land between Birch Road and Love Lane by Castlering Archaeology

Description

In 1258 Peter de Montfort was empowered to levy customs for five years to enable him to wall the town of Ellesmere <1>

It has been suggested that the town stood within an outer bailey to the W of the church <2>

CMHTS Comment:- It is not known where the defences were situated or even if they were ever built, but the town in the mid C13 was quite small with only 59 burgages recorded in 1280 [<4>]. This still seems too many to be protected by a defence on the high ground above Watergate Street and Birch Road. A circuit following Church Street, Willow Street and behind St John's Street has been postulated. This is a preliminary suggestion but further fieldwork would be needed to check the validity of this <3>

Renn mentions the C13 burgages in his work on castles <4>

CMHTS Report <5>

Boundary wall (PRN 21757) along Birch Road and Love Lane postulated to be part of the medieval town defences if they ever existed. The argument against the need for defences is largely geographical. The early occupation of the town appears to have been on the high ground which would have provided clear views over the surrounding fairly low-lying area. The castle and church overlooked the naturally defensive Mere, left by retreating meltwaters, which in medieval times presumably extended to the rising slopes of the castle. On the south side, the defence would have been the marshland. Many of the mere sites silted up to become boggy marshland which has subsequently been drained and used as pastureland. The boggy area on the west side of Birch Road has recently been developed as a nature reserve by Shropshire Wildlife Trust. <6>


<01> Eyton R W, 1854/ 1860, Antiquities of Shropshire (Volume 10), p240 (Monograph). SSA3221.


<02> Anon, 1957/ 1960, Ellesmere Annual Excursion 1957, p3 (Article in serial). SSA3632.


<03> Buteux Victoria, 1993/ 1996, CMHTS SMR Records Shropshire: Ellesmere and High Ercall, Ellesmere 5297 (Record form). SSA19967.


<04> Sylvester D, 1965, The Rural Landscape of the Welsh Borderland, p310 (Monograph). SSA11501.


<05> Buteux Victoria et al, 1996, Archaeological Assessment of Ellesmere, Shropshire (CMHTS) (Historic landscape survey report). SSA12070.


<06> Frost Pat, 2007, Land between Birch Road and Love Lane, Ellesmere; archaeological assessment (Deskbased survey report). SSA23576.

Sources

[01]SSA3221 - Monograph: Eyton R W. 1854/ 1860. Antiquities of Shropshire (Volume 10). Vol 10. p240.
[02]SSA3632 - Article in serial: Anon. 1957/ 1960. Ellesmere Annual Excursion 1957. Trans Shropshire Archaeol Hist Soc. Vol 56. p3. p3.
[03]SSA19967 - Record form: Buteux Victoria. 1993/ 1996. CMHTS SMR Records Shropshire: Ellesmere and High Ercall. Central Marches Historic Towns Survey record form. Vol 4. Ellesmere 5297.
[04]SSA11501 - Monograph: Sylvester D. 1965. The Rural Landscape of the Welsh Borderland. p310.
[05]SSA12070 - Historic landscape survey report: Buteux Victoria et al. 1996. Archaeological Assessment of Ellesmere, Shropshire (CMHTS). Hereford & Worcester CAS Rep. Rep 314.
[06]SSA23576 - Deskbased survey report: Frost Pat. 2007. Land between Birch Road and Love Lane, Ellesmere; archaeological assessment. Castlering Archaeol Rep. 257.
Date Last Edited:Aug 18 2010 5:30PM