Bridgnorth Town Defences

Has been described as a Certain Urban Defence

There are masonry footings remains

NameBridgnorth Town Defences
Alternative NamesBridgenorth; Burgh; Cow Gate; Listley Gate; North Gate; West Gate; Hungary Gate; St Marys Gate; Whitburn Gate; Barrier Gate
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishBridgnorth

The first defences of the town were a moat and timber stockade built between 1216 and 1223 (Mason 1957, 10). From 1220 the town received a number of murage grants (Croom 1992, 34) and the stone defences date from this period. The defences included a ditch except on the eastern edge of the town where the steep slopes down to the river made this unnecessary. The defences had five main gates built between 1256 and 1264: Northgate (SA 379); Whitburn gate (SA 380); Hungary/St Mary's Gate (SA 375); Listley Gate at the top of Railway Street (SA 376); and Cow Gate at the top of the Cartway (SA 378). The town defences were separated from those of the castle by a deep moat in the area of the Victorian Market buildings. Barrier Gate (SA 377) stood on the north side of this moat and was joined to the north gate of the castle by a drawbridge.

A few fragments of the town walls survive and the line in some places is reflected in later property boundaries. The line of the defences has been postulated by a number of authors (Bond 1987; Slater 1988 and 1990), but on the eastern side in particular the line of the circuit cannot be exactly located. It is not clear for instance whether the Franciscan Friary was outside the walls or protected by a wall to the north running down to the river as suggested by Bond (1987). Murage grants continued to be given until the 15th century (Watkins-Pitchford 1942) but by the mid-16th century the town walls "are all in ruins" (Chandler 1993, 392). (Buteux 2005)

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 ReferenceSO715933
Latitude52.5369911193848
Longitude-2.42055988311768
Eastings371570
Northings293320
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 52° 32' 13.19" Longitude -2° 25' 14.09"

Bridgnorth North Gate 09062016 093908.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 52° 32' 13.19" Longitude -2° 25' 14.09"

Bridgnorth North Gate-2 09062016 094005.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 52° 32' 13.19" Longitude -2° 25' 14.09"

Bridgnorth North Gate-3 09062016 094021.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 52° 32' 13.19" Longitude -2° 25' 14.09"

Bridgnorth North Gate-4 09062016 094112.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 52° 32' 13.19" Longitude -2° 25' 14.09"

Bridgnorth North Gate-5 09062016 094140.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 52° 32' 13.19" Longitude -2° 25' 14.09"

Bridgnorth North Gate-6 09062016 094152.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 52° 32' 13.19" Longitude -2° 25' 14.09"

Bridgnorth North Gate-7 09062016 094203.Jpg

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 52° 32' 13.19" Longitude -2° 25' 14.09"

Bridgnorth North Gate-8 09062016 094225.Jpg

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Books

  • Keith D Lilley, 2017, 'The Norman Conquest and its influences on urban landscapes' in Dawn M Hadley and Christopher Dyer, The Archaeology of the 11th Century Continuities and Transformations (Routledge) p. 30-56
  • Salter, Mike, 2013, Medieval Walled Towns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 34
  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 33 (slight)
  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 24, 83, 84, 88, 93, 243
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 25
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 210
  • Salter, Mike, 1993, Midlands Castles (Birmingham) p. 33
  • Slater, T.R., 1990, 'English medieval new towns with composite plans: evidence from the Midlands' in T.R. Slater (ed), The built form of western cities (Leicester) p. 60-82
  • Slater, T.R., 1988, Medieval composite towns in England: the evidence from Bridgnorth, Shropshire (University of Birmingham, School of Geography Working Paper Series 41)
  • Bond, C.J., 1987, 'Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Defences' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds) Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 92-116 (plan) online copy
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 435
  • Barley, M.W., 1975, 'Town Defences in England and Wales after 1066' in Barley (ed) The plans and topography of medieval towns in England and Wales (CBA Research Report 14) p. 57-71 download/view online
  • Rowley, Trevor, 1972, The Shropshire Landscape (Hodder and Stoughton) p. 190
  • Turner, H.L., 1971, Town Defences in England and Wales (London) p. 201-2
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co) p. 240-1
  • Bellett, G., 1856, Antiquities of Bridgnorth (Bridgnorth) (history) online copy

Antiquarian

  • Camden, Wm, 1607, Britannia hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2004)
  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England (Sutton Publishing) p. 391-2, 393
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1908, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 2 p. 85 online copy; Vol. 4 p. 168 [online copy > http://archive.org/stream/itineraryofjohnl04lelauoft#page/168/mode/1up]

Journals

  • Creighton, Oliver, 2006, ''Castles of Communities': Medieval Town Defences in England; Wales and Gascony' Château Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 75-86
  • Croom, J.N., 1992, 'The topographical analysis of medieval town plans:the examples of Much Wenlock and Bridgnorth' Midland History Vol. 17 p. 16-38
  • Watkins-Pitchford, D.W., 1948, 'A visit to Bridgnorth' Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 52 p. 153-178
  • Watkins-Pitchford, D.W., 1938, 'Collections for a history of Bridgnorth, Salop: a MS by William Hardwicke' Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 49 p. 199-204

Primary Sources

  • Hardy, T.D. (ed), 1833, Rotuli litterarum clausarum in turri Londinensi asservati (Record Commission) Vol. 1 p. 421 (grant of timber) online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1891-1916, Calendar of Patent Rolls (1216-1225) p. 239; p. 387; (1225-1232) p. 116; p. 271; (1232-47) p. 19; p. 256 (1247-1258) p. 135; p. 491; p. 579; (1258-1266) p. 511; (1281-1291) p. 197; (1301-1307) p. 56; (1313-1317) p. 284; (1317-1321) p. 55; p. 594 (1321-1324) p. 400; (1367-1370) p. 109; (1381-1385) p. 69; (1405-1408) p. 177 (murage grants)
  • - < >Also see the Gatehouse murage pages for full details of murage [grants > http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/murage/murindex.html], [petitions > http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/murage/mupindex.html ] and [other such > http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/murage/muaindex.html]. < >

Other

  • Haslam, J., forthcoming, A reassessment of the layout and planning of two twelfth-century towns – Ludlow and Bridgnorth, Shropshire. online draft
  • Buteux, Victoria, 2005, 'Archaeological assessement of Bridgnorth, Shropshire' in Dalwood, H. and Bryant, V. (eds), The Central Marches Historic Towns Survey 1992-6 Download online copy