Studley Old Castle

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameStudley Old Castle
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWarwickshire
Modern AuthorityWarwickshire
1974 AuthorityWarwickshire
Civil ParishStudley

Site of a motte castle variously described as a motte and bailey, moated site, ringwork or castle now surviving as earthworks and buried remains. A ditch surrounding the motte has a V-shaped profile and measures 13m wide and approximately 0.7m deep. The flat topped mound has been artificially raised to a height of 4m above the surrounding ground surface. It is roughly circular in plan and has a diameter of approximately 77m across its summit. The castle, parts of which were still upstanding in the mid C17, is thought to have been built circa 1135-40 possibly by William Corbucion. A small scale excavation in 1867 recovered fragments of pottery dating from the mid C12 to mid C13. Part of the site is now occupied by Castle Cottages. (PastScape)

Studley Old Castle survives well and is an impressive example of a rare type of site locally: only four motte castles have so far been identified in Warwickshire. Small-scale excavation at the site has confirmed that the motte and its surrounding ditch retain important buried structural and artefactual information about the buildings which existed on the motte and the activities of the site's inhabitants. The importance of the site is enhanced by the survival of related documentary information and by its close proximity to the church, the original construction of which will have been closely associated with Studley Old Castle.

The monument is situated 10m north of St Mary's Church in Studley and includes the earthwork and buried remains of a motte castle. The ditch surrounding the motte has a V-shaped profile and measures 13m wide and approximately 0.7m deep. The northern, eastern and south eastern sections of the ditch have been infilled but will survive as buried features and are included in the scheduling. In the northern part of the site, the ground falls away beyond the infilled ditch. The flat-topped mound has been artificially raised to a height of 4m above the surrounding ground surface

It is roughly circular in plan and has a diameter of approximately 77m across its summit with a slight extension to the mound on its north eastern side. The northern part of the motte is partly occupied by a timber-framed house which dates from the 16th century with later alterations, and several modern garages. The house is Listed Grade II-star and is not included in the scheduling. The mound has a relatively level surface, perhaps due to landscaping in the 18th or 19th centuries. An excavation at the site in 1967 recovered fragments of mid-12th to mid-13th century pottery. The motte castle is thought to have been built between c.1135-40 and its construction has been attributed to William Corbucion or one of his descendants. Documentary sources indicate that fragments of standing medieval masonry still stood at the site during the mid-17th century. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Studley was long held by the family of the same name descended from William Corbucion. Part of the moat around a round enclosure lies north of the church. The present house within was built early in C16 by Thomas Atwood and was then called Corpsons. The site, next to the church, is now quite isolated as the town of Studley has migrated, out of the flood plain of the Arrow, uphill to the main road.

- 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 ReferenceSP081638
Latitude52.2724800109863
Longitude-1.8825900554657
Eastings408120
Northings263830
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Books

  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 263 (slight)
  • Salter, Mike, 1993, Midlands Castles (Birmingham) p. 73
  • Salter, Mike, 1992, Castles and Moated Mansions of Warwickshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 44
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 485
  • Hooke D.,1980, Studley Parish Survey p. 54-5
  • Salzman, L.F. (ed), 1945, VCH Warwickshire Vol. 3 p. 178-9 online transcription
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 361 online copy

Antiquarian

Journals

  • Thompson, M.W., 1986, 'Associated monasteries and castles in the Middle Ages: a tentative list' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 143 p. 316
  • Hooke, D., 1983, Moated Sites Research Group report Vol. 10 p. 35, 38
  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • Chatwin, P.B., 1947-8, 'Castles in Warwickshire' Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society Vol. 67 p. 13

Other

  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 50 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 49 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 60 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 59 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 59 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 67 online copy