Stoke upon Tern

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameStoke upon Tern
Alternative NamesStoke Manor
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishStoke upon Tern

200 yards SE of Stoke upon Tern manor house is a moated space, still traceable, which was the site of an earlier manor house or castle. It is square and measures 250 feet each way. The moat on the NW, NE and SW is in a line with, and immediately outside, the present fence, but evidently much reduced by time and cultivation. The NW side is nearly obliterated, that, and the site itself being on ploughed land.

Large blocks of red sandstone and conglomerate have been turned up and at some depth wattles found. Fragments of limestone roofing shingles are scattered about the surface, and coins are said to have been found.

A small fishpond appears to have existed at the NE angle of the moat.

Mention of stone, brick, wood and timber on the site, in a conveyance of 1668, suggests that considerable ruins existed at that time (WP 1889-90).

The owner of the site cut a large trench through it from NW to SE for drainage purposes. The trench showed that the enclosure had been enlarged towards the NE, and the interior raised some two feet. A buried ditch of the original site contained a great quantity of preserved organic material in its lower layers. There were remains of a massive dry-stone wall of sandstone blocks resting on the original ground surface near the southern end of the trench. There were no dateable finds (Barker 1964).

Seat of Sir John Corbett, Sheriff of Shropshire, in 1629 and garrisoned for the Parliamentarians in 1644 (Shropshire notes and Queries 1911).

SJ 64632765: The moat is represented on the NE and SE sites by a nettle-infested drainage ditch 3.0 to 4.0m wide and 1.0m deep along the centre. There are traces of the inner scarp of the SW arm of the moat across an arable field. Contiguous with the NW side is a now dry fishpond, 20.0m in width and extending northwards from the line of the moat for 40.0m. It averages 1.2m in depth. Surveyed at 1:2500 at SJ64602771

Nothing significant was noted in the moated area (F1 ASP 19-SEP-75).

This rectangular moated site and the attached fishpond lie within an arable field. They have both been severely damaged by ploughing. A watching brief on the moated site, carried out in 1964, found structural and other artefactual remains dating to the 17th century. A considerable amount of material from the post-medieval period litters the plough soil. About ten years ago a local amateur group examined a portion of the northern moat arm. A sandstone block revetment wall was found supported on timber piles. There is no published record of this discovery, nor mention of it in the County SMR. The Head of the County Council's Archaeological Service apparently visited the site at the time of the investigation. The excavation trench has not been back filled and much of the exposed sandstone revetment remains in situ (Reid 1999). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

This was a large Domesday manor held by Roger de Lacy and the recording of a priest here in Domesday suggest the church was already here and this was a caput manor for the Lacy's (and their successors the de Say and Vernon families) and one might expect a manor house to match. However this is a square moat, although one of some ssize, some way from the church suggesting perhaps a new build house of the C13/C14. It would seem this was probably a secondary house for the family (or a house used by junior family members) and although quite substantial probably not of such a quality to be considered a castle either then or now.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ646276
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 155-6
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 79
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 476
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 58-9
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 435 (possible)
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Eyton, R.W., 1859, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 8 p. 59-71 (tenurial history) online copy


  • 1980, Moated Sites Research Group report Vol. 7 p. 53
  • Barker, Philip, 1964, Shropshire Archaeological Society newsletter Vol. 25 p. 3
  • 1911, Shropshire Notes and Queries (reprinted from The Shrewsbury Chronicle) Vol. 1 p. 9
  • WP, 1889-90, 'Extinct Moated Mansions of Shropshire' Salopian Shreds and Patches Vol. 9 p. 22 online copy
  • X, 1880, 'Stoke-upon-Tern' Salopian Shreds and Patches Vol. 4 p. 107 online copy


  • Reid, M.L., 1999 Jan 22, English Heritage Alternative Action Report