Wattlesborough Hall

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameWattlesborough Hall
Alternative NamesWattlesborough Tower; Wattlesborough Castle
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishAlberbury With Cardeston

Castle, remains of. Probably late C13, for Sir Robert Corbet (d. 1300) with probably C14 or C15, C16, and other later alterations. Dressed red sandstone; wing of roughly squared and coursed Alberbury breccia and red sandstone rubble with dressings and altered mono-pitch corrugated iron roof. Square keep/tower with wing to north-east. Formerly 2 storeys consisting of undercroft and first-floor hall, probably with former external stair to south-east; later storey added within parapet height; one-storey wing. Battered plinth with chamfered top course, chamfered string course; and setback pilaster buttresses; integral lateral stack to south-east with C18 or C19 brick stop stage, latterly used as flue for fireplaces in north-west end of Wattlesborough Hall

North-east front: remains of former first-floor hall window with 2 chamfered round-arched lights; probably inserted C14 first-floor window consisting of single chamfered ogee-headed light with trefoils in spandrels and returned hoodmould; probably inserted C16 or C17 ground-floor double-chamfered square window with returned hoodmould; fireplace on first floor to left inserted when north-east wing was added, with double chamfer, the outer square-headed and the inner forming a Tudor arch and resting on a corbel to right; later inserted doorway between first floor of tower and wing with segmental brick head and brick infill above; north-west front: first-floor hall window altered in the C14 with a square head, moulded reveals and the remains of tracery for 2 cusped ogee-headed lights (see also straight joints beneath); former garderobe to left with 2 large cantilevered brackets and raking brackets beneath (now blocked with brick); probably inserted one-light first-floor window with depressed ogee head and chamfered reveals; south-east front: the roof of the adjoining farmhouse mostly obscures the second floor window with square head, panelled tracery, and hoodmould with circular stops; two small staircase windows in buttress to right; the first-floor hall was probably reached by external steps, to an entrance on this front, now obscured by the house, and there was a separate entrance to the undercroft in this front, also now blocked; south-west front: blocked first-floor hall window consisting of 2 chamfered round-arched lights with transom; rainwater spout to right with small square window below. North-east wing: formerly 2 storeys with gabled roof (see roof line on tower); south east front with central C20 two-light wooden casement, small round-arched window to right, and boarded door to left; chamfered plinth at north-east end and remains of buttress with chamfered offset and gabled top; south-west front rebuilt with corrugated iron cladding. Interior: gutted and roofless; former first-floor hall windows with round rear arches; corbel table and gabled weathering with carved stop for former first-floor hall roof; blocked former undercroft entrance to south-east with chamfered rear arch; probably C16 inserted moulded fireplace to hall; joist holes and remains of beam of later inserted second floor; chamfered Tudor-arched fireplace to former second floor also an insertion; 2 first-floor niches, one round-arched and one ogee-arched; spiral staircase, and wall passage to north-east. Wattlesborough Castle passed to the Leighton family c. 1501 and was their chief residence until c. 1711. (Shropshire SMR record)

Despite the probably C13 date the tower has the appearance of a small C12 keep. It has been suggested that Sir Robert Corbet might have built the tower as "a conscious anachronism . . . . to assert his. . . . . kinship with the families who dominated the area from the great castles of Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Clun and Caus" (J.J. West 1981)

Earlier authorities state that it is C12. If it is late C13 the tower provides an interesting comparison with Acton Burnell Castle (see Acton Burnell CP) which is a fortified manor house of the same date also with a first-floor hall, but here reached by an internal stair. There is an engraving in the adjoining farmhouse showing a former, probably medieval, wing on its site, some materials from which might have been reused. Old photographs show the tower with a probably C19 pyramidal slate roof and the wing still of 2 storeys with a pitched roof. (Shropshire SMR record)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 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 ReferenceSJ355126
Latitude52.7073516845703
Longitude-2.95597004890442
Eastings335520
Northings312630
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Duckers, Peter and Anne, 2006, Castles of Shropshire (Stroud: Tempus) p. 169-72
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 82
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 476
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 218
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 61
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 431
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles)
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 341, 343
  • Gaydon, A.T. (ed), 1968, VCH Shropshire Vol. 8 p. 197-8
  • Pevsner, N., 1958, Buildings of England: Shropshire (London, Penguin) p. 308
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Wall (after Downham), 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Shropshire Vol. 1 p. 402
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 159 online copy
  • Stackhouse-Acton, Frances, 1868, The Castles and Old Mansions of Shropshire (Shrewsbury) p. 13-14 online copy
  • Anderson, J.C., 1864 (2edn 1972), Shropshire, Its Early History and Antiquities p. 366-7
  • Eyton, R.W., 1854-60, Antiquities of Shropshire (London) Vol. 7 p. 107-8 online copy

Journals

  • West, J.J., 1981, 'Wattlesborough Tower, Alberbury' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 138 p. 33-4
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1963, 'Early castles in Wales and the Marches: a preliminary list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 112 p. 77-124
  • 1960, Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 23 p. 13
  • Chitty, Lily, 1949, 'Subsidiary Castle Sites West of Shrewsbury' Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society Vol. 53 p. 83-90
  • 1915, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 5 p. 209-24
  • Leighton, S., 1913, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 3 p. 283-90
  • Leighton, S., 1880, 'Wattlesborough' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 35 p. 1-9 (plan) online copy
  • Blore, E., 1868, 'Wattlesborough Tower, Shropshire' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 25 p. 97-102 online copy

Other

  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk West Midlands Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 14 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 15 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 13 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 27 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 26 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 25 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 35 online copy
  • Edward Blore, 1850, pen and ink sketch (British Library online gallery)