Ancient Monuments

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Cheswardine Castle and an associated linear bank

A Scheduled Monument in Cheswardine, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.8675 / 52°52'2"N

Longitude: -2.4191 / 2°25'8"W

OS Eastings: 371880.433283

OS Northings: 330082.22321

OS Grid: SJ718300

Mapcode National: GBR 7Y.RDWH

Mapcode Global: WH9CB.T661

Entry Name: Cheswardine Castle and an associated linear bank

Scheduled Date: 14 October 1976

Last Amended: 7 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017239

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32316

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Cheswardine

Built-Up Area: Cheswardine

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Cheswardine St Swithun

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated
site, known as Cheswardine Castle, and an associated linear bank. The moated
site is considered to be the centre of the manor of Cheswardine which was
granted to Hamo (Hamon) le Strange by Henry II in 1155. In 1330 the castle is
reported to be of little strength and in 1376 the manor passed from the le
Strange family to Richard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey.

The moated site occupies a prominent location in an area of undulating land,
130m north of St Swithun's Church. The water-filled moat defines a square
island 30m across. The arms of the moat are all about 28m wide and over 2m
deep, with the exception of the southern part of the western arm which has
been made wider to form an enlarged pool. The extended moat arm is shown on
18th century estate maps indicating that it is not a modern creation. On one
of these maps, a causeway across the southern arm is depicted at the point
where a more recent stone causeway has been built. This later causeway is
matched by another of the same type across the opposite arm which survives in
a ruinous state. Both these causeways are included in the scheduling. There
are no upstanding remains of any structures on the island, although embedded
cut blocks of red sandstone, notably at the south eastern corner of the
island, indicate the nature of some the medieval buildings that survive as
buried features.

On the western side of the moated site a linear bank, approximately 90m long
and between 8m and 12m wide, has been constructed. It is orientated north west
- south east and partly overlies the outer edge of the modified portion of the
south western moat arm. The height of this earthwork increases substantially
(from about 1.2m to 4m) as it crosses the moat arm. On its western side it is
bounded by Lawn Lane, a long established route way. The exact purpose of this
bank is unclear, but it is included in the scheduling to preserve its
relationship with the moated site.

Another linear bank lies 40m to the south of the moated site. It is about 40m
long, 8m wide, 1.6m high and is cut by a 19th century boundary wall. This
earthwork has no clear relationship with the moated site, and is therefore not
included in the scheduling.

A number of features are excluded from the scheduling, these are: fences and
modern boundary walls, the gate pier and gate at the north western corner of
the site, the surface of the associated track, the garden furniture on the
island and the wooden bird boxes within the moat; the ground beneath all these
features is, however, included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches,
often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more
islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some
cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites
served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the
provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical
military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was
between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in
central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built
throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and
exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a
significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding
of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples
provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

Cheswardine Castle moated site is a well preserved example of this class of
monument. The moated island will retain structural and artefactual evidence of
the buildings that once stood on the site, which together with the artefacts
and organic remains existing in the moat will provide valuable evidence about
the occupation and social status of the inhabitants. Organic remains surviving
in the moat will also provide information about the changes to the local
environment and use of the land. The importance of the site is enhanced by
documentary sources which provide ownership information.

The linear bank that runs alongside the moated site will help to provide
evidence about the later use of this site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Donaldson-Hudson, , An Historical Survey of the Parish of Cheswardine, (1939), 39
Le Strange, H, Le Strange Records: A Chronicle of the Early le Stranges, (1916), 320-321
Le Strange, H, Le Strange Records: A Chronicle of the Early le Stranges, (1916), 25, 28
Estates belonging to the Earl of Shrewsury, (1789)
Title: A Plott of Cheswardine Parke, Castle, etc
Source Date: 1739

Source: Historic England

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