Peel Hall Motte

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are no visible remains

NamePeel Hall Motte
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCheshire
Modern AuthorityCheshire
1974 AuthorityCheshire
Civil ParishHorton Cum Peel

This site has been considered by some writers to be a castle but is rejected as such by Hogg and King as is considered to be a moated house. However, in the later Castellarium Anglicanum King considers it a possible motte (Had King forgotten his earlier dismissal or had he reconsider it?). PastScape records 'Remains of a moat and motte and bailey which were bulldozed in 1948.' This was a mound in the grounds of Peel Hall measuring '50ft in circumference' (sic - ? diameter) with gazebo on top. A medieval pele tower is said to have stood within a moat at the site of the current Hall.

Earthworks and structures alleged by previous authorities to a form a moat or motte and bailey are in fact remains of a formal garden arrangement associated with the Hall. Although now much degraded and visible as only as a roughly circular ditch or sunken area some 10m wide and 0.2m deep with an overall diameter of 54-56m, the earthworks are pricipally the remains of a ditched ornamental mound or mount, originally 54m in diameter overall with the mound itself 37m in diameter: a structure on the mound may have been a summerhouse or gazebo. There is evidence that this mound was part of a more extensive formal garden which has been subjected to changes in layout throughout the history of the house. (Everson)

Gatehouse Comments

Clearly the mound was used in the formal gardens of what was a considerable larger house than now currently stands but this, of itself, does not exclude earlier origins. However, site is to east of Chester (away from Wales) and not near a existing parish church (although Peel was a recognised township in Little Mouldsworth parish) and these do make it less likely that it was a castle mound.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ498696
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  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Lancashire and Cheshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 21 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 69 (possible)
  • Allcroft, A. Hadrian, 1908, Earthwork of England (London) p. 443 online copy
  • Ormerod, G., 1819, History of the County Palatine and city of Chester (London) Vol. 2 p. 180 (tenurial history) online copy


  • Wilshaw, E., 1983, Cheshire Archaeological Bulletin Vol. 9 p. 34
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1970, 'Castles in Wales and the Marches (Additions and corrections to lists published in 1963 and 1967)' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 119 p. 119-124
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1963, 'Early castles in Wales and the Marches: a preliminary list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 112 p. 77-124 (possible)
  • Jackson, S., 1960, The Cheshire Historian Vol. 10
  • Lawrence, C.F., 1912, Cheshire Notes and Queries Vol. 10 p. 190-1
  • Cash, S., 1897, Cheshire Notes and Queries Vol. 2 p. 190-1


  • Everson, Paul, 1986, RCHME: Peel Hall Survey