Buckingham Castle, Macclesfield

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Town House

There are no visible remains

NameBuckingham Castle, Macclesfield
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCheshire
Modern AuthorityCheshire
1974 AuthorityCheshire
Civil ParishMacclesfield

Late C15 castellated mansion in town called Buckingham castle had stone gateway facing Mill Street. Porch tower survived until 1933. In 1398 the clerk, John of Macclesfield, applied for a licence to crenellate', which Ormerod felt applied to a house on this site; licence repeated in 1410.

Macclesfield Castle is the most interesting of Macclesfield's townhouses. It was built by John de Macclesfield at the end of C14. He was an important courtier under Richard II and applied for a licence to crenellate his new house in Macclesfield in 1398 and 1399. This was confirmed in 1410, by which time Henry IV was Monarch and John de Macclesfield had retired to his house in Macclesfield. The house was built on four adjacent burgage plots on the east side of Le Walgate (now Mill Street). The acquisition of the land began in 1392 and was complete by 1398. Eventually John's holdings extended over a frontage of 30-40 metres, down to the River Bollin. By 1444, the Dukes of Buckingham had bought the de Macclesfield estates from John de Macclesfield's descendants. They extended and enriched the mansion, but their lavish lifestyle led to their bankruptcy and withdrawal from Macclesfield. The castle was then leased by the Savage family, who grew to prominence in the town. In 1585 the house was described as ruinous, and square in plan with two wings and five turrets, one central and one at each angle. It was surrounded by a strong wall and contained a courtyard, stables, kennels and outbuildings. By the 17th century the holding had become redivided into its four plots. From 1793-1811 a room in the castle was used by the Roman Catholic congregation. By 1932 all that remained of Macclesfield Castle was the porch. This was presented to the town, but was threatened with demolition in advance of the building of a new store. In 1933, a Stockport architect made measured drawings before the building was taken down

No site could be found for the re-erection of the porch and some years later it was buried in the lime pit in the Town Yard. The remains of the porch were re-excavated in 1985 and the original architect's drawings were rediscovered. It was in coursed rubble sandstone with ashlar dressings. The inside of the porch had a vaulted ceiling. The central boss carried a coat-of-arms and was surrounded by eight bosses with Tudor roses and oak leaves and acorns. (Cheshire HER)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ917735
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  • Grimsditch, Brian, Nevell, Michael and Nevell, Richard, 2012, Buckton Castle and the Castles of the North West England (University of Salford Archaeological Monograph 2) p. 110
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Lancashire and Cheshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 20
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 563
  • Cullen, P.W. and Hordern, R., 1986, Castles of Cheshire (Crossbow Books) p. 26
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 68 (mention)
  • Ridgway, Maurice Hill, 1958, 'Medieval Castles' in Sylvester, D. and Nulty, G. (eds), The Historical Atlas of Cheshire (Cheshire Community Council) p. 24-5
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 176 online copy
  • Ormerod, G., 1882 (2edn), History of the County Palatine and city of Chester (London) Vol. 3 p. 747
  • Finney, Issac, 1873, Macklesfelde in Ye Olden Time online copy
  • Ormerod, G., 1819, History of the County Palatine and city of Chester (London) Vol. 3 p. 365 (tenurial history) online copy


  • Davis, Philip, 2010-11, 'Crenellated town houses in Medieval England' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 24 p. 270-91
  • Birkett, R.E., 1995-96, 'Macclesfield Castle Mound and Manor House' Cheshire History Vol. 35 p. 10-15
  • Turner, R.C., 1987, 'Macclesfield Castle' Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society Vol. 31 p. 134-145
  • Maxfield, D.K., 1986, 'Pardoners and property: John Macclesfield, 1351-1422, builder of Macclesfield Castle' Cheshire Archaeological Society Journal Vol. 69
  • Angus-Butterworth, L.M., 1973, Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society Vol. 20 p. 64-5
  • Halstead, D., 1932, 'Macclesfield Castle' Ancient Monuments Society Yearbook p. 39-44

Primary Sources

  • 1875, 36th Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records p. 312 online copy
  • (Chester Recognizance Roll, 21 & 22 Ric. II, m. 37d (3) (4))
  • 1875, 36th Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records p. 314 online copy
  • (Chester Recognizance Roll, 10 &11 Hen. 4, m. 6 (5))