Tyrley Castle

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameTyrley Castle
Alternative NamesTirley
Historic CountryStaffordshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishSutton Upon Tern

An 18th century farmhouse stands on the site of Tyrley castle. The castle built soon after the conquest by the Pantulfs, but is only documented from 1281 in the will of Ralph Le Botiler as an unfinished fortalice. Documented violent disputes between Botiler and the Cistercian Monks of Combermere Abbey, who were lords of Market Drayton, around 1280 alternatively suggests the castle might have actually been built in response to this conflict as the castle site is only 500m from the church of Market Drayton which was a focus of this dispute. A park was linked to the castle and had been in existence since the mid-13th century, which could alternatively mean that the castle was in fact a post-conquest fortification or that a high-status residence at the manor of Tyrley had preceded the building of the castle in the 1280s. The castle probably fell into disuse in the 14th century. (PastScape)

A rise in the value of the Manor between 1066 and 1086 supports the conjecture of a castle here. Probably soon after the Conquest a rude fortification of earthwork and timber was made here.. This was enlarged and improved in the last quarter of the C13 ..by Ralph le Boteler... In the C14 extent it is called simply the capital messuage or manor house. The castle is not mentioned in the sale of the Manor (1532) but appears in the Court Rolls prior to 1583 and the name was in general use after that date. The castle hill is a ridge about 300yds long with an almost sheer descent on the northern side, but sloping gradually towards the east west and south... The original Norman keep must have stood about in the middle of the present farmhouse upon a knob of rock; and this was no doubt the central point of the stone building erected in the C13. Excavations in 1884 and 1910 revealed a long stretch of the outer wall of the later castle. These foundations were largely rubble but two courses of chamfered plinth stones were found in situ

These were removed and have been re-erected in the garden at Peatwood, half a mile to the east. Outside these foundations the ancient ditch, eighteen feet wide and filled up with black soil was found. Some ashes, two old Broseley pipe bowls and some brown and yellow slip pottery were also dug up; and it would seem there had been a fire at some time. There is a depression on the western side of the house towards the garden suggesting that the ditch continued round that side. Some holes were dug there, but nothing of interest was found. On the north side of the house there is some stone ashlar work, with a chamfered plinth and a rounded corner, which may be a remnant of the C13 building.... The bailey was probably on the north east side of the keep on a lower level, the site being occupied by the existing farm buildings. (Twernlow 1946)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ678337
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  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 166-7
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 81
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Lynam, Charles, 1908, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm. (ed), VCH Staffordshire Vol. 1 p. 370-1 (plan) online copy
  • Eyton, R.W., 1859, Antiquities of Shropshire (London) Vol. 9 p. 193 online copy


  • Cantor, Leonard, 1966, 'The Medieval Castles of Staffordshire' North Staffordshire Journal of Field Studies Vol. 6 p. 38-46
  • Twemlow, F.R., 1945-6, Staffordshire Historical Collections Vol. 68 p. 17, 33-6

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1906, Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Edward I Vol. 2 p. 229 No. 390 online copy