Wolverhampton town defences

Has been described as a Rejected Urban Defence

There are no visible remains

NameWolverhampton town defences
Alternative Names
Historic CountryStaffordshire
Modern AuthorityWolverhampton
1974 AuthorityWest Midlands
Civil ParishWolverhampton

Map of 1750 shows a large ditch running east-west to the north of, and parallel to Bilston Street It forms the back boundary of buildings fronting on to Bilston Street at this time. To its north is Piper's Meadow. Baker suggests that the ditch may be the surviving remnant of a town defence cutting off the spur of land rising up to St Peter's church to the N. There is no other evidence for town defences, however, and we need not a minor medieval market town to have been defended. Evaluation by Lang to determine extent of survival prior to redevelopment. Radar survey showed series of anomalies, but no clear trace of ditch. 6 trenches to ascertain extent of ditch & any associated features. Most pottery probably C18. Medieval pot from feature which was probably part of pit uncovered by Malam. Lack of finds indicates that area evaluated was peripheral in post medieval period. Limited preservation could mean that function of ditch may not be known. However report indicates that earlier date than post medieval seems unlikely. Suggests function of ditch may have been a) attacking or defensive position from Civil War or b) ditch to drain water off Pipers Meadow & protect buildings fronting Bilston St. Concludes that although there is possibility of feature appearing in course of development, no general horizon of archaeology across site requiring preservation. (Wolverhampton and Walsall HER)

In 1982 2 machine cut sections were made of a medieval ditch running E-W along the rear of properties fronting onto Bilston Street. The ditch is shown on a plan of 1750 as being water-filled and extending over a distance of c150m. It may have been associated either with the 'Great Hall' SO 99 NW 25 to the south or the boundary between the manors of Deanery and Stow Heath. The ditch measured 3m wide X 2.50m deep (below present ground level). A pit, containing a similar fill to that within the ditch, lay immediately to the south

Firm dating evidence was not obtained for either feature. A possible C12-13 sherd was recovered from the ditch and a possible C13 sherd from the pit. Both, however, were from unstratified positions. (PastScape)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO916985
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  • Baker, Nigel, 1980, The Archaeology of Wolverhampton (WEMRAC)
  • Taylor, I., 1750, Map of Wolverhampton


  • Lang, N., 1989, 'Evaluation at NCP site, Tower St.' West Midlands Archaeology Vol. 32 p. 107
  • Malam, P., 1983, 'Excavations & Archaeology in Wolverhampton 1980-1982.' West Midlands Archaeology Vol. 26 p. 107
  • Malam, J.P., 1982-3, Transactions of the South Staffordshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 24 p. 70-1
  • Malam, J.P., 1982, 'Excavation of a medieval ditch in Bilston St.' West Midlands Archaeology Vol. 25 p. 110


  • Geospace Consultancy Services Ltd. 1989. Results: Radar Surv of Tower St Car Park. TSSAHS. 25; 66
  • Lang NAR. 1989. Tower St Wolverhampton - An Arch Eval. SMR.