High Ercall Hall

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are masonry footings remains

NameHigh Ercall Hall
Alternative Names
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityTelford and Wrekin
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishErcall Magna

Evaluation report containing a summary of documentary evidence for the medieval manorial complex. In 1424 the manorial enclose is described in a marriage settlement. The document mentions a moat and bridge, a three storey gatehouse containing five rooms and a detached stone tower capable of defence. It also contained the hall, offices and a great chamber with rooms behind it and two more rooms on the ground floor and one above. The implication is that the hall was probably still open to the roof, but the chambers in the lower half must have been ceilinged as there was another room above. A new bam is also mentioned as are stables, a barleyrick tower, garner and hay loft, as well as nearby orchards and a pond south of the church (see PRN 04071). The tower mentioned in 1424 may be that seen on C18 and early C19 illustrations of High Ercall, though the documentary sources are considered rather unreliable. One of the trial trenches (Trench 5) which was excavated as part of this evaluation produced a massive stone wall foundation in the central area of the moated site, south of the present hall, which it is suggested may belong to the detached stone tower mentioned in 14124: this may still have been standing in the 18th century, as illustrations appear to show it (Ferris and Litherland 1991))

The manor complex consisted of a hall and chambers, including a great chamber, a kitchen, larderhouse, bakehouse, brewhouse, gate and bridge, a dovehouse and a gatehouse; a house (le Noresry) within the gardens, a stable, a great barn, a hayeberrie, an oxhouse, carter's stable, yeoman's stable, a tower (le Birlyreka), another stone tower, a garner, orchards and gardens, park and woodland (Hill 1984).

Anslow in discussing the C17 hall notes that in various parts of the garden and grounds traces of the foundations of the larger residence and fortification are still discernible especially on the eastern site (Anslow 1883)

(Shropshire HER)

A manor house probably existed on the site from the late Anglo-Saxon period, but little is known of its internal features. By 1332 it included a Dower House close to the church (SA 5594; Hill 1984, 18). The first description of the manorial enclosure dates to 1424. At this time the site was moated with a bridge and a three storey gatehouse containing five rooms. Within the moat was a stone tower, the hall itself, offices, a great chamber and rooms behind it, kitchen, larderhouse, bakehouse, brewhouse, dovehouse, wine cellars, a new barn, stables and oxhouse (Hill 1984, 32). The present hall on the site dates to the early 17th century, but traces of the 15th century tower may have been located during trial-trenching in 1991 (Ferris and Litherland 1991). The boundaries of the medieval moated site have been obscured by the massive Civil War defences around the hall, and no evidence of the medieval moat was found in 1991 (Ferris and Litherland 1991). The 17th century ditch and bank abutts the church, however, suggesting that at least to the east it was larger than the medieval moat. Because of the uncertainty as to the extent of the medieval manorial enclosure this component has been defined using modern boundaries. (Buteux 2005)

Gatehouse Comments

The stone corner tower identified in 1991 was found under later massive Civil War earthbank in the Time Team excavation of 2001. This was quite a strongly fortified medieval house with a gatehouse and a curtain wall with towers moated all about of a sort quite often given a castle name. The occupiers were certainly at the top of the gentry status (Thomas Newport was Sheriff of Shropshire in 1403-4) but were not of baronial rank and the lack of castle name probably reflects that social status rather than anything about the form of the building.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ594174
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  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 43
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 478
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 71 (reject as castle but accepts as FMH)
  • Stackhouse-Acton, Frances, 1868, The Castles and Old Mansions of Shropshire (Shrewsbury) p. 48-9 online copy
  • Eyton, R.W., 1859, Antiquities of Shropshire (London: John Russell Smith) Vol. 9 p. 62-97 (tenurial history) online copy


  • Watson, M.D., 1987, 'Gazetteer of Moated Sites in Shropshire' Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 65 p. 5
  • Hill, M.C., 1984, 'The Desmesne and the waste, a study of medieval inclosure on the manor of High Ercall, 1086-1300' Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 62 p. 32
  • 1980, Medieval Village Research Group annual report Vol. 7 p. 51
  • 1918-19, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 8 p. 139-44
  • Anslow, R., 1883, 'The Archaeology of High Ercall' Severn Valley Naturalists Field Club


  • Buteux, V., 2005, 'Archaeological assessment of High Ercall, Shropshire' in Dalwood, H. and Bryant, V. (eds), The Central Marches Historic Towns Survey 1992-6 Download online copy
  • Time Team (Mike Aston et al), 2002 Feb 24 (1st broadcast), 'High Ercall Shropshire' Time Team TV Programme (Time Team, a Videotext/Picture House production for Channel 4) View online
  • Ferris, I. and Litherland, S., 1991, Archaeological Work at Ercall Hall, High Ercall, Shropshire, in 1991 (Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit Report 171) p. 8-9,12