Marchamley Moat Bank

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Questionable Fortified Manor House, and also as a Questionable Siege Work

There are earthwork remains

NameMarchamley Moat Bank
Alternative NamesMarchemelegh'
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishHodnet

A possible motte... apparently thrown up, or adapted, in 1223 when it was referred to as a 'fortalice'. It contains the remains of an C18 brick-built potato house, and a large pit. (Jackson)

A flat topped mound, situated at Hawkstone Farm, Marchamley; probably a medieval motte attested by documentary evidence of 1223. The document calls it a "fortalice". It is not yet clear if the earthwork was purpose built as a siegework in 1223 or was an existing marcher motte adapted to this purpose in that time of renewed warfare between the Welsh, Marcher Lords and the English crown. The motte mound was adapted in C18 with the insertion of a brick built potato storehouse and pit. (PastScape)

Rex Vic' Salop salutem. Precipimus tibi quod facias heredes Henr' de Aldithel' auxilium de hominibus Comes tui ad firmand quandam fortesleciam suam apud Marchemelegh' par viii dies T. ut supra (T.H. etc. apud Westm' xxvi die Jan. 1223) {Greeting from the King to the Sheriff of Shropshire. We command you to cause the heirs of Henry de Audley, with the help of the Count's men for 8 days, to strengthen a certain fortalice of Marchamley} (Rot. litt. claus. transcription/translation by Philip Charles Davis - please help improve these)

Gatehouse Comments

The tenurial history is certainly consistent with an early castle here. 8 days of help from the Counts men does not suggest an intent to build a major fortification. Does this actually suggest some help in refurbishing an existing site, specifically intended as a residence for Henry's wife and children (Henry, died in 1246, his children were apparently children under 5 in 1223 - regardless what is the reason for mentioning the heirs of Henry in this mandate?), possibly at a time when Henry was busy with his numerous royal duties? A fortalice here being a site with the domestic security a high status women would require.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ594294
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  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 36
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 425 (Hodnet No. 2)
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 403
  • Eyton, R.W., 1859, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 9 p. 272- (tenurial history) online copy


  • King, D.J.Cathcart, 1972, 'The Field Archaeology of mottes; Eine kurze übersicht' Château Gaillard Vol. 5 p. 101-112
  • 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 (survived into C13 without being rebuilt in stone)
  • 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

Primary Sources

  • Hardy, T.D. (ed), 1833, Rotuli litterarum clausarum in turri Londinensi asservati (Record Commission) Vol. 1 p. 530b (built 1233) online copy