Cheswardine Castle and an associated linear bank


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Cheswardine Castle and an associated linear bank
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 71874 30078

Reasons for Designation

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.


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.

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


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


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 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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

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