HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Shropshire HER Result
Shropshire HERPrintable version | About Shropshire HER | Visit Shropshire HER online...

HER Number (PRN):03835
Name:Supposed site of first medieval Apley Castle, near Apley Home Farm
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:None recorded

Monument Type(s):


A postulated site of the original, medieval Apley Castle.

Parish:Hadley & Leegomery, Telford and Wrekin
Map Sheet:SJ61SE
Grid Reference:SJ 6521 1323

Related records

08472Parent of: Alternative site for supposed early medieval castle at Apley (Monument)
08468Parent of: Apley Castle (C14-C17) (Monument)
20394Parent of: Ice house SW of Apley Home Farm (Monument)
12881Parent of: Site of Georgian/ Victorian Apley Castle (Building)
00695Related to: Holy Trinity Church, Old Vicarage Rd, Dawley (Building)
03885Related to: Supposed deserted settlement of Apley (Monument)

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA3228 - 1980 assessment of Apley Castle estate, including contour survey by BUFAU
  • ESA7744 - 2015 DBA of land at Apley Home Farm, Telford by Ironbridge Archaeology
  • ESA7996 - 2016 Geophysical survey of land at Apley Castle, Apley by Allen Archaeology
  • ESA8250 - 2017 Trial trenching at Apley Castle, Apley by Allen Archaeology (Ref: TWC/2015/0920)


When Apley Castle was built is unknown. The spot on which it stood appears to be what is now known as Home Farm. On the hill behind there, there has been discovered the brick paved remains of what seems to have been an early C17 icehouse [PRN 20394]. It was probably where the original house was erected <1>

Probably the site of the original house, but not proven to be so. Survey plan. <2>

The discovery in the 1989 building survey of the extent of surviving medieval remains in the stable block [PRN 00696] makes the suggestion that there was an earlier site (from which stone was reused in the construction of the later, second, house) less likely. However, it is still possible that an earlier site was indeed abandoned when the fortified house was constructed in 1327 <3>

A medieval motte has been suggested here [<2>]. There is no trace of a bailey and no excavations have taken place to establish the function of the mound. An alternative tradition places the original Apley Castle 200 yards south west of the medieval manor house [see PRN 08472]. However, the mound is clearly of some age, as it shows up as a substantial kink in the boundary on the 1842 tithe map between the Apley and the Dothill demesne. <4>

There has been some speculation as to the exact nature and date of this feature with some [e.g. <2>] suggesting that it may be a motte or the location of a house [<4>] which pre-dates the original fortified house. Understanding what this feature is may provide us with a much clearer picture of the development of Apley, and the proposed development site, in the early medieval period. Horton [<5>] suggests that ‘if it was a medieval motte, then it might be expected to be close to the centre of the small township settlement...If this is the case, then the very small community would have been in the general area of what is now Home Farm and not to the east by the present castle’. Also, if it is a motte, one would expect to see some evidence for a bailey, however no excavations have been undertaken to prove or disprove this. Despite lack of archaeological evidence thus far the interpretation of this mound as a motte cannot be ruled out. Peel (<1>) proposed another site for the original fortified house, i.e. the house awarded the licence to crenelate in 1327 [see PRN 00842]. However, extensive archaeological recording at the former stables has discounted the possibility that this house was located anywhere else. ->

-> A site visit recorded that the mound was ‘obviously not a motte’. Described as a flat topped mound which on the majority of its north and west sides is approximately level with the surrounding farmland, making it unsuitable for defence. <5>

Further to desk-based assessment (see <5>), a geophysical survey and subsequent programme of trial trenching were carried out in 2016-2017 on land to the NE and S of Apley Home Farm, in association with proposed development. No features of archaeological origin were suggested by the geophysical survey. During trial trenching, an earthwork bank aligned roughly N to S was identified in Trench 1 (centred on SJ 6526 1325). The earthwork had been filled in recently, as demonstrated by the inclusion of modern plastic fragments within the backfill. Unfortunately the full extent of the earthwork was not fully reached due to depth issues. No dateable material was identified from the earthwork feature. <5><6>

<00> Shropshire County Council SMR, SMR Sheets Collection, SMR Sheet for PRN SA 03835 (Card index). SSA20723.

<01> Peel A M, 1949/ 1950, Charltons of Apley Castle, Shropshire, p259 (Article in serial). SSA2720.

<02> Turner V E, 1980, Archaeological Survey of Apley Castle, esp Fig 6 (Field survey report). SSA2729.

<03> Morriss Richard K & Shoesmith Ron, 1989, Apley Castle, Shropshire: an interim report May 1989 (Field survey report). SSA2719.

<04> Horton Mark C, 1995, Apley Castle Park: Archaeological Evaluation of Development Site, p4, p6 (Archaeological fieldwork report). SSA2728.

<05> Kelleher S, 2015, Archaeological desk-based assessment of land at Apley Home Farm, Telford, Shropshire (Deskbased survey report). SSA28496.

<05> Bunn D and Chapman A, 2016, Geophysical Survey on land at Apley Castle, Apley, Telford, Shropshire, TF1 6DD (Geophysical survey report). SSA29084.

<06> Chapman A, 2017, Archaeological evaluation report: trial trenching - land at Apley Castle, Apley, Telford, Shropshire (Excavation report). SSA29454.


[00]SSA20723 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. SMR Sheets Collection. SMR record sheets. SMR Sheet for PRN SA 03835.
[01]SSA2720 - Article in serial: Peel A M. 1949/ 1950. Charltons of Apley Castle, Shropshire. Trans Shropshire Archaeol Hist Soc. Vol 53. p258-289. p259.
[02]SSA2729 - Field survey report: Turner V E. 1980. Archaeological Survey of Apley Castle. esp Fig 6.
[03]SSA2719 - Field survey report: Morriss Richard K & Shoesmith Ron. 1989. Apley Castle, Shropshire: an interim report May 1989. CHAU Rep.
[04]SSA2728 - Archaeological fieldwork report: Horton Mark C. 1995. Apley Castle Park: Archaeological Evaluation of Development Site. p4, p6.
[05]SSA28496 - Deskbased survey report: Kelleher S. 2015. Archaeological desk-based assessment of land at Apley Home Farm, Telford, Shropshire. Ironbridge Archaeology Series. 337.
[05]SSA29084 - Geophysical survey report: Bunn D and Chapman A. 2016. Geophysical Survey on land at Apley Castle, Apley, Telford, Shropshire, TF1 6DD. Allen Archaeology Rep. AAL2016095.
[06]SSA29454 - Excavation report: Chapman A. 2017. Archaeological evaluation report: trial trenching - land at Apley Castle, Apley, Telford, Shropshire. Allen Archaeology Rep. AAL2017057.
Date Last Edited:Jun 5 2017 9:40AM