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):00270
Name:Alberbury Castle
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Conservation Area: Alberbury
Scheduled Monument 1020662: Alberbury Castle

Monument Type(s):

  • CASTLE (13th century - 1200 AD to 1299 AD)
  • CURTAIN WALL (13th century - 1200 AD to 1299 AD)
  • TOWER KEEP (13th century to 15th century - 1200 AD to 1499 AD)


Scheduled Monument and Grade II* Listed Building: The site of a medieval stronghold and manorial centre, probably of early 13th century date, the ruins of which show signs of a decreasing defensive role after the conquest of Wales, and which was eventually demoted to the role of lodge and landscape feature in the grounds of successive post medieval mansions at nearby Loton.

Parish:Alberbury with Cardeston, Shrewsbury and Atcham, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SJ31SE
Grid Reference:SJ 3581 1441

Related records

13186Parent of: Alberbury Castle, remains of, Alberbury (Building)

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA266 - 1971 field observation by the Ordnance Survey
  • ESA8727 - 2018 Heritage at Risk Survey by Historic England
  • ESA8361 - 2016 Heritage at Risk Survey by Historic England
  • ESA8362 - 2017 Heritage at Risk Survey by Historic England
  • ESA9067 - 2019 Heritage at Risk Survey by Historic England


Alberbury Castle was probably built by Fulk Fitz Warin in the early C13. Its remains include a rectangular keep which probably contained a first floor hall, and a curtain wall, possibly contemporary with the keep , enclosing an area of about 1/4 acre <1a>
The remains of Alberbury Castle are represented by a curtain wall some 2ft 6ins thick and up to 9ft high, and the shell of a keep outside the SW corner of the curtain wall. OS FI 1972 <1>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1, Medium score as one of 15 Tower keep castles <9>

Scheduling revised in 2002. Scheduling description: ->

-> The monument includes the standing structural and buried remains of Alberbury Castle. It is situated very close to the present border between England and Wales, on a gentle rise above the flood plain of the River Severn, and is overlooked by higher ground to the south. The castle is located 70m south west of the Church of St Michael and All Angels, which dates from the 12th century. The standing cross in the churchyard is the subject of a separate scheduling. ->

-> The castle also lies 1.78km to the north of Wattlesborough Castle, a tower keep castle, dating from the 12th or 13th century, which is also the subject of a separate scheduling. Alberbury Castle was probably built by Fulk Fitz Warin (III) in the early 13th century, when it appears to have been the centre of the manor of Alberbury. Descendants of Fulk Fitz Warin (III) are known to have retained the lordship of the manor until the mid-14th century. Fulk Glas (II), who was apparently resident at Alberbury in 1327 and 1332, is known to have been lord of the manor until 1347. In the late 14th century the descent of the manor becomes obscure, and it is also unclear how long the castle continued to be occupied. A map of 1579 clearly shows the castle as an unenclosed, rectangular roofed structure. ->

-> Documentary sources indicate that in the early 17th century there was a large house nearby at Loton. This house appears to have been replaced by Loton Park Hall, located 350m to the north west, built in the late 17th century. It would seem likely that by this time the castle had little function other than possibly as a lodge adjacent to the main drive to the Hall. A drawing of the castle indicates that by the late 18th century the structure was roofless and in ruins. ->

-> The tower keep is constructed of irregularly coursed Alberbury breccia, a locally derived stone. Dressed sandstone was used around the window openings and as corbels (upper floor supports) .The building is rectangular in plan and measures approximately 13.5m by 17m. The walls, which are about 2.3m wide at ground level, stand to a maximum height of about 9m. The structural evidence suggests that the building was originally two storeys high. The hall, used for ceremonial and public occasions, and the private chambers were situated on the first floor. The ground floor was probably used mainly for storage. There is no evidence on either floor of internal masonry cross walls or sub-divisions. The configuration of the window openings, their irregular heights and sizes, suggest changes in the arrangement of rooms as the need for defence became secondary to comfort and convenience as a dwelling. These structural alterations probably relate to the more peaceful conditions in the region following the conquest of Wales by Edward I in the late 13th century. ->

-> The castle is a Listed Building Grade II*. ->

-> Probably between the mid-17th and the mid-18th century a substantial stone wall was built to enclose the remains of the tower keep and the ground towards the church. This enclosure, previously viewed as part of the castle's defences, is now considered to have been constructed as a way of enhancing the visual impact of the castle as a feature within Loton Park Hall estate. The enclosure wall is a Listed Building Grade II* (with the castle), and the estate wall adjoining the tower keep to the south is a Listed Building Grade II. ->

-> The enclosure wall and estate wall, the iron ladder fixed to the wall within the interior of the tower keep, the fence posts, and the shed and store to the south, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included. ->

-> Alberbury Castle is a good example of [a tower keep castle]. The structural details that are evident from the standing remains provide valuable evidence about the changing nature of military architecture and the domestic requirements of the nobility in the Welsh Marches during the 13th and 14th centuries ... Structural features and associated deposits within the interior of the tower keep and around the exterior are expected to survive well, buried under fallen masonry. These deposits are likely to contain artefacts and organic remains .. During the post medieval period the remains of the castle assumed a new importance as a feature within the recently created designed landscape of Loton Park. The castle remains a prominent feature in the landscape <10>

Photographed during aerial photographic survey in 2007. <11>


[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 00270.
[01b]SSA110 - Monograph: Pevsner Nikolaus. 1958. Buildings of England (Shropshire). Buildings of England. p55.
[01a]SSA1126 - Volume: Gaydon A T (ed). 1968. Victoria County History 8: Condover and Ford Hundreds. Victoria County History of Shropshire. Vol 8. p196.
[01]SSA1295 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1971. Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ31SE1. Ordnance Survey record cards. SJ31SE1.
[01c]SSA31554 - Site visit report: Ordnance Survey Field Investigator. Various. NRHE: Ordnance Survey Field Investigators Comments. F1 DRB 04-AUG-1971.
[02]SSA16381 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1983-Aug-03. CPAT 83/13/0023 to 0024 (2 photos).
[03b]SSA1293 - Monograph: Corbet-Anderson J. 1864. Shropshire: its Early History and Antiquities. p358-360 inc illus.
[03a]SSA1294 - Monograph: Eyton R W. 1854/ 1860. Antiquities of Shropshire (uncertain volume). Old print.
[03]SSA1298 - Field Monument Warden Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC). 1987-Jun-10. Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 31758 (10/06/1987).
[03c]SSA928 - Monograph: Rowley R T. 1972. The Shropshire Landscape. The Making of the English Landscape. p59.
[04]SSA1296 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 1990. Map of Scheduled area, 1990.
[05]SSA1297 - Photograph: Anon. 1980. Slide. Colour.
[06]SSA16382 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1985-Jul-07. CPAT 85/09/0011.
[07]SSA16383 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1985-Jul-07. CPAT 85/10/0006 and 0008 (2 photos).
[08]SSA16384 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1992-May-03. CPAT 92/MB/0342 to 0345 (4 photos). Black and White. Medium.
[09]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File.
[10]SSA20790 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 2002. Scheduling Papers (Revised Scheduling, 05/07/2002). 34923.
[11]SSA25342 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2007-Aug-8. SA0706_019 to SA0706_020 (2 photos) Flight: 07_SA_06. Colour. Digital.
Date Last Edited:Dec 4 2023 11:51AM