Wroxeter Castle

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Ringwork), and also as a Possible Masonry Castle, and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NameWroxeter Castle
Alternative NamesArundel Castle; Hall Orchard
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishWroxeter And Uppington

An intriguing site consisting of the earthwork remains of a medieval ringwork (earthwork castle) and fortfied manor house site, which appears to have reused elements of the Roman defences and has been shown by partial excavation to contain substantial archaeological remains.

Roughly rectangular earthwork which would appear to have resulted from the construction of the Roman defences, subsequently utilised as a moated site / castle? after the Norman Conquest. To the south an earth dam, now breached, would have impounded water in the ditch of the Roman city. Possible reference to this site in Inquisitions Post Mortem 12 Edward I (Various. 1980-Aug-14. Site Visit Forms).

Trial trenches by Houghton in 1970 across the postulated castle site produced some C12 and C13 pottery. They located the line of the Roman town wall to the north of the stream, and ditches thought to be part of a medieval ringwork. The wall was overlain by a clay platform thought to be the foundation of the medieval 'castle' (fortified manor house) owned by the Fitz-Alans (Houghton 1972).

Excavations in 1859 located a small, square masonry room attached to a continuous wall. The masonry was rough and it is suggested that it might have been medieval in character, although only Roman artefacts were found. A plan shows an E-shaped structure facing the river with a detached wall facing it (Wright 1860).

The field was systematically surveyed in 1988, showing clearly a dam thrown across the stream to form a mill pond. This was apparently of two phases (Barker 1990). (Shropshire HER)

Last year, during the period while the workmen were excluded from the field of our principal excavations, they were employed at the top of the knoll at F, above alluded to, which overlooks the ford. The earth was full of remains of building materials, and walls were found which had been so much broken away that it was difficult to say to what description of building they had belonged

They appeared to have formed a small square room attached to a more continuous wall. It might have been a tower, but it was of rough masonry, and might be either Roman or medieval. Now there appears to be documentary evidence of the existence of a medieval castle of Wroxeter, which is said to have been called Arundel castle (the earls of Arundel were feudal lords of this territory during the fourteenth century), and, as it was probably only a small fortress to command the ford, it has been conjectured that the walls uncovered last year on the knoll at F were remains of this castle. It must, however, be stated on the other hand, that all the objects found in digging at this spot were Roman. Among them was a head sculptured in stone, which is evidently of late Roman work, and appears to have belonged to a building which was rather highly ornamented. Coins and other articles were also found, and a coin mould, in which was the impress of a coin of Julia Domna, the wife of the emperor Severus. (Wright 1860)

Gatehouse Comments

There are some fine stone Saxon animal carving incorporated into Wroxeter church which suggests its Saxon predecessor was of stone and, perhaps therefore, endowed and built by patron of high status.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ562081
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  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 189
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 88 (slight)
  • Barker, Philip A. (ed), 1990, 'Earthworks in the South Western Corner of the Defences' From Roman Viroconium to Medieval Wroxeter: Recent Work on the Site of the Roman City of Wroxeter (Worcester: West Mercian Archaeological Consultants) p. 13
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 68
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 435 (possible)
  • 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. 223, 225
  • Eyton, R.W., 1858, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 7 p. 309- (tenurial history) online copy


  • Houghton, A.W.J., 1972, 'The Shropshire Roman Research Group' Shropshire Newsletter No 42 p. 14-15.
  • Wright, T., 1860, 'Uriconium' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 16 p. 205-17 esp. 209 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1906, Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Edward I Vol. 2 p. 325 No. 536 view online copy


  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1987, Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 32838 (15/07/1987)
  • Houghton, A.W.J.,1972, The Shropshire Roman Research Group