Chesterton under Lyme

Has been described as a Rejected Timber Castle (Other/Unknown)

There are no visible remains

NameChesterton under Lyme
Alternative Names
Historic CountryStaffordshire
Modern AuthorityStaffordshire
1974 AuthorityStaffordshire
Civil ParishNewcastle under Lyme

Two miles N. of Newcastle-under-Lyne, previous to the Conquest, there seems to have been a place of very considerable importance in Saxon times, with a town and a castle, whose founder is not known, though its existence is undoubted. It was conferred, about 1180, upon Ranulph de Gernons, Earl of Chester, who may have reared a fortress on the Saxon site, and we read of additions being made in the reign of John, who was there 1206, by timber buildings, and a wooden palisade surrounding it. The Earls of Chester used the place as an outpost of their Palatine possessions, and were governors, or custodes, of it, it being then the only castle in the county N. of Stafford. Henry III. took the castle from these earls and gave it, later, with Lancaster and Pickering, in 1267, to his second son, Edmund "Crouchback," then twenty-one years of age, whom he created Earl of Leicester after the death of Simon de Montfort at Evesham. This castle then went to decay, for Edmund, afterwards created Earl of Lancaster, built another, within two miles of it, which he called New Castle, when that at Chesterton, being chiefly, perhaps, of wood, passed away altogether. It was situated on the E. branch of the Trent, which had the name of the Lyme, or Lyne. (Mackenzie)

Gatehouse Comments

Despite Mackenzie's statement that the existence of this castle is 'undoubted' it is in fact not accepted by any author. The history given is for Newcastle under Lyme which dates from the C11 and which probably did not have a medieval precursor (Although see Trentham). Chesterton was the site of a Flavian Roman fort with stonecut ditches and turf walling and has been part excavated, although it is now built over. There is no suggestion of medieval occupation.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSJ831490
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  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 452
  • Lynam, Charles, 1908, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm. (ed), VCH Staffordshire Vol. 1 p. 348-9 (plan) online copy
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 393 online copy