Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006119
Date first listed: 13-Feb-1952
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Lichfield (District Authority)
Parish: Hamstall Ridware
National Grid Reference: SK 10511 19397
Remains of a medieval manor house within the grounds of Hamstall Hall.
Reasons for Designation
Fortified houses were residences belonging to some of the richest and most powerful members of society. Their design reflects a combination of domestic and military elements. In some instances, the fortifications may be cosmetic additions to an otherwise conventional high status dwelling, giving a military aspect while remaining practically indefensible. They are associated with individuals or families of high status and their ostentatious architecture often reflects a high level of expenditure. The nature of the fortification varies, but can include moats, curtain walls, a gatehouse and towers, gunports and crenellated parapets. Their buildings normally included a hall used as communal space for domestic and administrative purposes, kitchens, service and storage areas. Some fortified houses had outer courts beyond the main defences in which stables, brew houses, granaries and barns were located. Fortified houses were constructed in the medieval period, primarily between the 15th and 16th centuries. They are found primarily in several areas of lowland England: in upland areas they are outnumbered by structures such as bastles and tower houses which fulfilled many of the same functions. As a rare monument type, all examples exhibiting significant surviving archaeological remains are considered of national importance.
The remains of the medieval manor house at Hamstall Hall will retain significant buried remains, archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, design, layout and development of the medieval high status residence.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 June 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes the earthwork and upstanding remains of a medieval manor house and courtyard to the north east of Hamstall Hall, north of the village of Hamstall Ridware. It is situated on a slight slope running down to the River Blithe. The standing remains include a rectangular courtyard wall aligned north west to south east with a 16th century gatehouse at the centre of its north west side and a 15th century tower with 16th century additions at its south east corner. The gatehouse is of red brick construction with ashlar quoins and dressings. It consists of a pair of octagonal turrets each with ogee-moulded cornice and stone dome which flank a rusticated semicircular arched gateway with raised key and strapwork parapet. Each turret has a two-light chamfer-mullioned window facing the gateway approach and a Tudor-arch doorway to the rear. Nesting boxes were cut into its walls of the turrets for their later conversion into dovecotes. The tower is roughly square in plan and of similar construction to the gatehouse, red brick construction with some ashlar dressings. The three-storey structure stands over 15m tall and has a flat lead roof. A later timber staircase now occupies the interior of the tower. It includes 15th and 16th century windows and a large chimney stack in its south facing wall. Above the upper storey of the western elevation a steeply arched roof line is visible of a building range once attached to the tower. Other indications of former buildings are ranged along the inside of the courtyard walls with 16th century windows.
The residence of Hamstall Hall has its origins as a 15th century timber framed house and by the late 16th century it comprised of a complex of buildings concentrated in the south corner of the large rectangular courtyard with the main approach via the gatehouse. The tower stood at the south east corner and was formally linked to a large hall until the 18th century when the new hall was built, leaving the tower as a derelict folly. The precinct of the medieval Church of St. Michael and All Angels (LB 272882 Grade I) lies adjacent to the south east corner of the monument. Within the scheduling, the gatehouse and attached courtyard walls, the tower and attached walls and the porch of Hamstall Hall are also Grade II* Listed Buildings (272876, 272877, and 272875). Further archaeological remains associated with the medieval residence survive in the vicinity of the monument, but are not included because they have not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: ST 38
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Pastscape 921635, HER DST5778 & NMR SK11NW2
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing