Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006131
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Stafford (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SJ 92586 23191
Section of medieval town wall, East Gate, Stafford, at the junction of North Walls and Eastgate Street.
Reasons for Designation
Between the Roman and post-medieval periods a large number of English Towns were provided with defences. Construction of these reached its peak in around 1300 although many were then maintained for many centuries thereafter. The defences could take the form of earthen banks, ditches or masonry walls or a combination of all three. They were constructed to mark the limits of the town or its intended size and could be used to defend the town in times of trouble. Their symbolic role in marking out the settlement and its importance was also significant and thus many defensive circuits included well built and visually impressive water-filled moats, walls and gateways. In the medieval period the development of towns was closely associated with major landowners and many towns were deliberately established next to major castles so that their lordly owners could influence and gain from the important market, trade and other functions of the developing urban centres.
The section of medieval town wall, East Gate, Stafford no longer stands in its original position. It retains evidence of medieval methods of construction and contains some architectural detail. The monument is a visual reminder of the history and importance of medieval Stafford and the development of its town defences.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 5 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 reconstructed remains of a very short length of medieval town wall, known as East Gate which was part of the medieval town defences of Stafford. It is situated near to the junction where the eastern end of Eastgate Street intersects with North Walls. The wall stands up to 5m high, measures up to 5m long by 0.5m wide and stands in an isolated position on a triangular grass verge. It is of dressed sandstone block construction and contains a groove at its eastern end which may have held the portcullis. It is backed by a rendered brick wall, the remnants of a cottage demolished in 1964. Stafford was founded by Ethelfreda as an Anglo-Saxon burh in AD 913. It was also mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086 as a walled town and was listed in the Patent Rolls of 1225 as being granted permission from the king to enable the custom of tolls for the purpose of enclosing the town. The town defences were refortified during the Civil War, were raised by Sir W Brereton in 1643 and by 1670 were in ruins. East Gate was a substantial stone gatehouse with a central archway guarding the eastern entrance into the town.
By the early 19th century almost all of East Gate was demolished and the surviving northern wall was moved to its present position for road widening in 1939. It was rebuilt against a cottage wall, no. 118 Back Walls, which was later demolished in 1964, leaving the monument in its current isolated position. The wall is also a Grade II listed building, National Heritage List entry 1211357.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: ST 11
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument: 619405, HER: DST5803 and NMR: SJ 92 SW 84
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