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Record Details

HER Number:00046
Type of record:Monument
Name:Motte and Bailey Castle, Newcastle under Lyme


The Listed and Scheduled remains of an early 12th century motte and bailey castle, granted by Stephen to Ranulf de Gernon, Earl of Chester. Parts of the remains of the castle are listed and scheduled.

Grid Reference:SJ 8438 4603
Map Sheet:SJ84NW
Parish:Newcastle under Lyme, Newcastle Under Lyme Borough
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Monument Type(s):

Associated Events:

  • EST961 - Archaeological assessment and evaluation adjacent to the medieval castle, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Jan 1992. (NRHE Name - Newcastle-under-Lyme Castle)
  • EST670 - An archaeologcial evaluation at St Giles and St George's School, Pool Dam, Newcastle-under-Lyme. (NRHE Name - St Giles & St George's School, Pool Dam) (Ref: Report No. 208)
  • EST962 - An archaeological watching brief at Silverdale Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme.
  • EST2248 - Heritage at Risk Survey 2011 (West Midlands Region)
  • EST2303 - Archaeological evaluation, monitoring and recording at Newcastle Castle (John o' Gaunt's Road) Newcastle under Lyme. (NRHE Name - Newcastle Castle)
  • EST2550 - Archaeological evaluation, monitoring and recording at Newcastle Castle (adjacent to Motte), Newcastle under Lyme. (NRHE Name - Newcastle Castle)
  • EST3215 - An archaeological excavation at Newcastle Castle by Thomas Pape in 1934-1935. (NRHE Name - Newcastle Castle)

Protected Status:

  • Listed Building (II) 1196763: Castle Foundations
  • Scheduled Monument 1020853: Motte and Bailey Castle (100 metres and 200 metres south of St. Mary's School)

Full description

Motte and Bailey: A motte and bailey castle probably built by 1149 and originally a royal castle. In 1149 the Stephen granted the castle to the Earl of Chester, but it was reclaimed by the Crown in 1153. It was in ruins by the time of Leyland's visit. Scanty remains of an earthwork motte and a few metres of bailey wall foundation are visible. Oval shaped bailey on the north side. The castle was surrounded by a pool with access by a causeway on the north-east side. <1>

Castle foundations: A length of sandstone rubble footing of the turreted gatehouse to the castle (probably late 12th century in date) is listed. <2>

The motte and bailey was erected by Ranulf Gernons in 1142-1146. <3>

In 1991 an archaeological evaluation of the site indicated that part of the motte had been demolished circa 1920, with material dumped on the north side to make level ground for factories built on the site. Archaeological deposits relating to the motte and bailey may survive beneath the dumped material. <4>

Scheduled area amended. (JM, 12/5/03) <5>

Identified as being at risk on the 2011 Heritage at Risk Register. (RH, 20-Jun-2016)<11>

Sources and further reading

<1>SST2107 - Serial: University of Keele. 1966. North Staffordshire Journal of Field Studies volume 6 (1966). 'The Medieval Castles of Staffordshire' by L. M. Cantor (page 144).
<2>SST372 - Designation Record: Department of the Environment. Ongoing. Listed Buildings of Special Architectural or Historical Importance (Green and Blue Backs). Page 26 - Volume 644 - Borough of Newcastle under Lyme.
<3>SST390 - Index: Ordnance Survey. See cards. Ordnance Survey Card Index. SJ 84 NW - 8 (Antiquaries Journal Volume XV (1935) page 24 & Volume XVI (1936)).
<4>SST3143 - Evaluation Report: W. D. Klemperer (Stoke-on-Trent Museum Field Archaeology Unit). 1992. Archaeological Evaluation Newcastle-under-Lyme Castle January 1992. 4D (Former Source Reference Number).
<5>SST3723 - Designation Record: Department for Culture Media and Sport / English Heritage. Ongoing-2016. Scheduled Monument Designation Documents, Scheduled Monument Consents and Section 17 Management Agreements.
<6>SST4651 - Evaluation Report: Malcolm L. Reid (Roundhouse Archaeological Services). 2011/2012. Archaeological monitoring and recording in connection with visitor improvement works at Newcastle Castle, Newcastle under Lyme.
<8>SST3816 - Watching Brief Report: Chris Welch (Staffordshire County Council). 2001. Silverdale Road, Newcastle: Report on a Watching Brief.
<9>SST3616 - Evaluation Report: Nic Appleton-Fox (Marches Archaeology). 2001. St Giles & St. George's School, Pool Dam, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire: A Report on an Evaluation Excavation.
<10>SST1532 - Descriptive text: 1935. REPORT OF 43RD CONGRESS. Page 30.
<11>SST1710 - Published Book: English Heritage. 2011. Heritage at Risk Register 2011 (West Midlands). Page 42.