Charlton Castle

Has been described as a Possible Masonry Castle, and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are masonry footings remains

NameCharlton Castle
Alternative NamesChorlton; Cherleton; Chorleton Castel on Terne; Cherlton
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityTelford and Wrekin
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishWrockwardine

The moated site 160m and 280m south of the The Farm, Charlton, is a well- preserved example of this class of monument. The structural remains of buildings surviving here, together with associated artefacts and organic remains existing on the island and in the moat, will provide valuable evidence about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants. Organic remains preserved within the moat will also provide information about the changes to the local environment and the use of the land. The importance of the site is further enhanced by the documentary sources which provide valuable information about ownership during the medieval period, and the changing nature of the manor house. Fishponds were constructed throughout the medieval period with many dating from the 12th century. The associated fishpond at Charlton provides additional evidence about the economy and lifestyle of the occupants of the moated site during the medieval period.

The monument includes the earthwork, buried and upstanding structural remains of a medieval moated site, a fishpond and associated drainage channels, which lie within two separate areas of protection. In 1316 Sir John Charlton was given a licence to crenellate (fortify) the manor house at Charlton and in 1342 he was allowed to celebrate Mass at the chapel constructed here. Charlton Castle, as it was known, was apparently used as a residence of the lords of Powys in the earlier part of the 16th century, but following the manor's sale in 1588 it fell into disuse. The moated site was constructed on level ground in an area of undulating land. The moat defines a rectangular island approximately 55m north west-south east by 70m south west-north east. The arms of the moat are between 14m and 16m wide and are partially waterlogged. Access to the island is via a 5m wide causeway, which crosses the northern part of the north western moat arm

A curtain wall was constructed around the sides of the island and is now apparent as a low and discontinuous bank, standing up to 0.6m high. Mounds of demolished and collapsed masonry, level areas bounded by embanked wall foundations and sections of upstanding masonry up to 3.2m high, indicate that the castle consisted of ranges of buildings set round a central courtyard. All visible portions of masonry are comprised of squared and irregular blocks of limestone and red sandstone. To the south east of the castle, and aligned north east-south west, is a large water-filled rectangular fishpond. It is approximately 30m wide by 92m long and was created by digging into a north facing slope. Water was originally channelled into the pond from the north east, with a bypass channel located along its south eastern side. Water was discharged from the pond by means of an outflow channel situated at its south western corner. The bypass channel, together with 10m long sections of the inflow and outflow channels, are included in the scheduling to preserve the relationship between these features and the fishpond. All gate and fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. (Scheduling Report)

Large well preserved rectangular moat average c14m in width and c3m deep internally, the island being raised c0.7m above the surrounding ground level. The moat, which is waterfilled/waterlogged, has a well preserved causewayed entrance c2m wide across the NW arm which is the only dry arm. The moat island, which measures roughly 68m by 54m has a rubble bank running around most of its perimeter. On the island are excellently preserved building platforms associated with still standing masonry walls. Flanking the inner side of the causeway entrance at the NW side are two rectangular building platforms with large masonry foundations in them-possible flanking gate towers?. This entrance appears to open out into a central courtyard / open area bounded on its NE and SE sides by building platforms. The platform along the SE side is particularly impressive standing up to 0.7m high and surmounted along its W edge by a red sandstone wall up to 1.3m high. The platform at the NE corner has walling up to 3m in height. Extensive wall foundations survive on all the platforms and these suggest buildings of a large and grandiose nature. At the SE corner is a circular mound of rubble c3m in diameter and 0.5m high which may be the foundations of a corner tower. Lying c70m to the SE of the moat is an enormous fishpond c90m in length and c32m wide which is waterfilled again. Two shallow linear ditches c 1.5m in width run from the fishpond to the SE side of the moat. These could be contemporary or be C19 attempts at drainage as is the drain that runs out of the SW corner of the moat. The area to the S of the moat and around the fishpond shows other traces of major drains. Ridge and furrow running NW/SE lies immediately to the east of the moat, abutting onto its SE arm and onto the W side of the fishpond. (Watson, M.D., 1981 - Shropshire SMR report)

Sir John Charlton was licensed to crenellate his dwelling at Charlton in 1316, and in 1341 was allowed to have mass celebrated in a chapel there. The defended manor house, known as Charlton Castle, was apparently still used as a residence of the Lords of Powys in the earlier C16, but following 1588, it fell into disuse. Part of and apparently round corner tower and a length of curtain wall remained standing c1820 (Baugh 1985)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ597111
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. 53-4
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 33
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 219 (slight)
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 16-17
  • Baugh, G.C. and Elrington, C.R. (eds), 1985, VCH Shropshire Vol. 11 p. 312 online transcription
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 433
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 207
  • Pevsner, N., 1958, Buildings of England: Shropshire (London, Penguin) p. 95
  • Oman, Charles W.C., 1926, Castles (1978 edn Beetham House: New York) p. 133
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 405-6
  • Leach, F., 1891, County Seats of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Eddowes' Shrewsbury Journal Office) p. 57
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 407 online copy


  • Camden, Wm, 1607, Britannia hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2004)
  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England (Sutton Publishing) p. 397, 399
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1910, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 5 p. 14 online copy


  • Watson, M.D., 1987, 'Gazetteer of Moated Sites in Shropshire' Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 65 p. 9
  • 1982, Moated Sites Research Group report 9 p. 36
  • 1980, Medieval Village Research Group annual report Vol. 7 p. 53
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • 1949-50, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 53 p. 258-62
  • Eyton, R.W., 1887, 'The castles of Shropshire' Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 10 p. 13

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1898, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1313-17) Vol. 2 p. 566 online copy
  • Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 424-5


  • Historic England, 2016, Heritage at Risk West Midlands Register 2016 (London: Historic England) p. 40 online copy
  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk West Midlands Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 40 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 40 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 40 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 51 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 51 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 51 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 59 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2001, Scheduling Papers (Revision, 09/03/2001)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1987, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 32236