Wilderley Hall Farm

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameWilderley Hall Farm
Alternative Names
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishChurch Pulverbatch

The motte and bailey castle south west of Wilderley Hall is a good example of its class. The motte remains in excellent condition and will contain valuable archaeological information relating to its method of construction and the period and nature of its occupation, below the ploughsoil. The two bailey enclosures, although ploughed in the past, remain intact and will contain valuable archaeological information relating to their construction and occupation, below the ploughsoil. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath the motte and in the ditch fill. Such motte and bailey castles contribute valuable information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and social structure of the countryside during the medieval period.

The monument includes the remains of a motte and bailey castle situated on the end of a shallow spur overlooking ground falling to the east. It includes a well defined castle mound, or motte, circular in plan with a base diameter of 26m and up to 5m high with a flat summit 16m in diameter. There is a surrounding ditch approximately 6m wide and up to 1.8m deep, from which material would have been quarried for the construction of the mound. This remains visible as an earthwork around all but the south east side where it will survive as a buried feature. A bailey, which would have contained the domestic buildings associated with the castle, lies to the immediate north east of the motte and has overall dimensions of 110m north east to south west by 80m transversely. It is stepped to form two enclosures which run downhill from the motte. Although the area containing the enclosures has been ploughed in the past, the bailey earthworks remain well defined. The western enclosure, which has an internal area of approximately 0.42ha, is bounded around its south side by a strong scarp slope with an average height of 2m

Around the north side of the enclosure the earthworks can be recognised as a low spread scarp averaging 1.5m high. The east side of this inner enclosure is formed by a scarp averaging 1m high, which cuts roughly north west to south east, stepping the natural slope to form the contiguous west side of the lower enclosure. Below this the northern scarp curves around to the south to form the north eastern side of this outer enclosure before fading out into the alignment of a hedgebank, the modern boundary of the farm garden. Around the south east quarter the scarp can no longer be recognised on the surface but will survive as a buried feature. The internal area of the lower enclosure is estimated at 0.24ha. (Scheduling Report)

Like Castle Pulverbatch, the medieval hamlet of Wilderley lay under the shadow of a castle, which was designed to command one of the roads formerly running northwards from the Long Mynd towards the Severn valley. The site of the castle, a rnotte with two rectangular baileys, lies to the north of Wilderley Hall Farm, sole survivor of the former hamlet. (VCH 1968)

Gatehouse Comments

The small Domesday manor of Wildredelega (Wilderley) was held by Hugh son of Thorgisl in 1086 who also held two other small manors in Shropshire. The manor was annexed to the honour of Montgomery by Henry I and it was, presumably, held by military service - possibly castle-guard at Montgomery = as Scutage was payable in the early C13 by which time the manor was held by the Abbot of Haughmond. The form is a modest motte attached to the west side of a square enclosure, with further sub-rectangular bailey add to the central square's east side. This does not suggest a one phase construction and Gatehouse speculates the central square enclosure is pre-Conquest in date and represents a Saxon thegnal burh to which a motte was added in a manner which allowed the original buildings to remain in use.

- Philip Davis

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 ReferenceSJ433016
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  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 183-4
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 88 (slight)
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 65-6
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 423 (Church Pulverbatch No. 2)
  • Gaydon, A.T. (ed), 1968, VCH Shropshire Vol. 8 p. 132 online transcription
  • Rees, W., 1933, Historical map of South Wales and the Borders in the C14
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 392-3
  • Eyton, R.W., 1858, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 6 p. 258- (tenurial history) online copy


  • 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
  • Anon, 1935-38, Transactions of the Caradoc and Severn Valley Field Club Part 4 p. 192


  • English Heritage, 1996, Scheduling Papers (Revision, 09/05/1996)
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1983, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 20491