Bury Bank, Stone

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameBury Bank, Stone
Alternative NamesBury Bank; Berry Bank; Darlaston; King Woulhers castel; Wulferecester
Historic CountryStaffordshire
Modern AuthorityStaffordshire
1974 AuthorityStaffordshire
Civil ParishStone Rural

An earthwork mound within the interior of the scheduled Bury Bank Hillfort. Interpreted as the remains of a possible round barrow. (Staffs HER)

Gatehouse Comments

King writes 'nothing known of castle mentioned by Harvey as existing in Shropshire, possibly in error for Stone in Staffordshire, which itself has no known castle site.' It should be said of Stone in Staffordshire that close to the town is the large Iron Age hill fort of Bury Bank. This is said to have had early medieval reuse as a Royal Mansion of King Wlferus of the Mercians (657-676AD). This is a classic hillfort but has a large low mound within it (Called a conical hill in Shaw); this was probably a barrow (early Saxon rather than prehistoric) although excavation in 1860 did not find a burial (but did find bits of bones and ashes). The VCH suggests the mound may have been surmounted by a watch tower and suggests this as "a prototype of the Norman Keep". Staffordshire and Shropshire did share some administration during the medieval period (and Harvey does occasionally make errors in county location) and it is possible that the early Saxon Royal Manor may have remained in the memory as a castle. Called a Saxon castle by Shaw (Presumably Harvey's authority). Leland clearly describes Bury Bank as King Wulfhere's castle and that there are still large ditches and masonry to be seen. Locating this otherwise 'lost' castle at Bury Bank seems reasonable.

- 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 ReferenceSJ882359
Latitude52.9198188781738
Longitude-2.17579007148743
Eastings388210
Northings335930
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by James Wright. All rights reserved

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Books

  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 59 (ref. Harvey)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 435 (Shropshire as possible, ref. Harvey)
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Lynam, Charles, 1908, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm. (ed), VCH Staffordshire Vol. 1 p. 342-4 (plan) online copy
  • Lewis, Samuel (ed), 1848, A Topographical Dictionary of England online transcription
  • Shaw, Stebbing, 1798, The History and Antiquities of Staffordshire (J.Nichols abd Son) (Republished 1976 by EP Publishing) Vol. 1 p. 36

Antiquarian

  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 443
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1910, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 5 p. 20 online copy

Journals

  • Gunstone, A.J.H., 1965, 'An Archaeological Gazetteer of Staffordshire: Part 2' North Staffordshire Journal of Field Studies Vol. 5 p. 48
  • Forde-Johnston, J.1963, 'The Hillforts of Staffordshire' and 'Bury Bank' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 120 p. 262-3, 289 online copy
  • Chitty, Lily F., 1937, 'How did the hill-fort builders reach the Breiddin?: a tentative explanation' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 92 p. 145
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 211 online copy