Whittington Village Defence

Has been described as a Questionable Urban Defence

There are earthwork remains

NameWhittington Village Defence
Alternative Names
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishWhittington

In an Appendix listing 'Earthwork castles with attached village enclosures' Bond writes "Whittington: Multiplication of outer banks south of castle (Renn, p. 345; King, p. 432)"

P. J. Brown has completed a research programme for English Heritage at this Marcher castle, which was sited on low-lying ground, using the natural springs and marshy ground for defence. It was defended on its S. and W. sides by a sequence of either two or three ditches. Aerial photography and geophysics have revealed that the W. ditches continue northwards beyond the castle, where they are no longer visible as earthworks. The evidence suggests that the site originated as a curved, ditched enclosure in the later prehistoric period, and that the castle builders re-used a section of these defences for their own work. Fragmentary archaeological and documentary evidence suggests that the site was also occupied in the pre-Conquest period. (Med. Arch. 2004)

Gatehouse Comments

The latest interpretation of these earthworks suggest they represent a multivallate pre-historic enclosure (Med. Arch. 2004). The village church lies north of the castle and there seems no real reason to believe this was not the centre of the medieval village lying north of the castle and probably outside the lost northern line of the pre-historic enclosure. See castle for full bibliography.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ325310
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 266
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 432, 434
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 345


  • Bradley, J and Gaimster, M. (eds), 2004, 'Medieval Britain and Ireland in 2003' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 48 p. 287-8 online copy
  • Bond J., 2001, 'Earthen Castles, Outer Enclosures and the Earthworks at Ascott d'Oilly Castle, Oxfordshire' Oxoniensia Vol. 46 p. 67-8 (Appendix: Earthwork castles with attached village enclosures) online copy