Wolseley Hall

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are masonry footings remains

NameWolseley Hall
Alternative Names
Historic CountryStaffordshire
Modern AuthorityStaffordshire
1974 AuthorityStaffordshire
Civil ParishColwich

Thence we Came to Woolsley 7 mile, to a Relations house Sr Charles Woolsley whose Lady was my Aunt, where we dined. Ye house stands in a fine parke; ye house is an old building and but Low, its built round a Court: there is a Large Lofty hall in ye Old fashion, a dineing and drawing roome on ye one hand, and a little parlour on the other, the best roomes were newer built wth Chambers over them, and a very good staircase well wanscoated and Carv'd wth good pictures. Ye Rest of the house is all old and Low and must be new built. Ye Gardens are good, both gravell and Green walks; there is a good River runns by it

His seate stands very finely by ye river Trent; there is also a moate almost round ye house. Ye house is old timble building, only a Large parlour and noble stair Case wth handsome Chambers Sr Charles has new built. It is built round a Court wth a gate house wch Leads to ye outward Court that has a paved walke, broad stone ye same as ye first Court is paved with.

There are green spaces and a fine green banck wth box or philteroy hedge Cut round. There are very good gardens abundance of fruite of all sorts and ye ffinest dwarfe trees I ever saw, so thick like a hedge and a huge Compass Every single tree, and very full of fruite of apples, pears and Cherries; there are fine flowers, Heber roses white and yellow; there was a fine Sena trees yt bears a great Branch of yellow fflowers. Ye ground Lyes all well about ye house and a fine park by the End of it, part of wch is on a high hill ye side of wch the deer sport themselves, wch looks just on ye house and is wonderfull pleasant: its a Large parke 6 miles round full of stately woods and replenish'd wth red and fallow deer (Fiennes)

Site of a 17th century country house recorded by RCHME in 1966 prior to its destruction. According to Mee, the staircase was by Grindling Gibbons. Possibly on the site of an earlier manor house, granted a licence to crenellate in 1469. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Large pools have been constructed in the C20 but some of these may be based on part of the moat mentioned by Celia Fiennes and others on fish ponds. There are some masonry footings. There can be no real doubt this was the site of the house granted a licence to crenellate in 1469 to Sir Ralph Wolseley and Fiennes's description of this as a timber building is entirely consistent with this being the house built, or improved, by Sir Ralph, although he may have had plans for a grander stone built house. Now a widelife centre and open to visitors.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSK024202
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  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 435
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, Castles and Moated Mansions of Staffordshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 62
  • Salter, Mike, 1993, Midlands Castles (Birmingham) p. 93
  • Mee, A, 1937, The King's England, Staffordshire p. 71
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 236, 422 online copy


  • Celia Fiennes, 1888, Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary (London: Field and Tuer, The Leadenhall Press) Vision of Britain online transcription [Vision of Britain online transcription > http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/text/chap_page.jsp?t_id=Fiennes&c_id=21&cpub_id=0]


  • Palliser, D.M., 1972, 'Staffordshire Castles: A Provisional List' Staffordshire Archaeology Vol. 1 p. 5-8

Guide Books

  • Wolseley, Imogene, 2003, Wolseley a thousand years of history (Lichfield Press)

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1900, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward IV. Henry VI (1467-77) p. 184 online copy


  • S. Buteux, J.Cane & S.Litherland, 1989, Wolseley Hall: An Archaeological Evaluation (B'ham University Field Archaeology Unit)