Madeley Court

Has been described as a Questionable Fortified Manor House

There are major building remains

NameMadeley Court
Alternative Names
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityTelford and Wrekin
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishMadeley

Mainly C16 with traces of C13 fabric. Built as grange to Wenlock Priory. At the Dissolution bought in 1553 by Sir Robert Brooke, Speaker in the House of Commons, and stayed in the Brooke family until early C19. Tenanted by Abraham Darby I from 1709 until his death. Large ashlar house, at time of survey (1980) being restored. Tiled roofs with gables with parapet coping. Large brick shafted chimney stacks. Two-storeys and attics. L-shaped on plan, originally on west wing as well. The north-west hall range extensively rebuilt. Gabled stone attic windows with finials. Large stone mullion transom windows with dripmoulds. Early C17 stone porch to right hand of hall range with moulded round arch and ornate gables with volutes, pediments and strapwork foliage decoration. The east wing contains large C16 timber newel staircase and rooms with bolection moulded panelling and chimney piece (Listed Building Report).

The house is basically an E/W medieval hall with a basement and tall windows at the E end, probably of the mid C13. A N/S two storey range, probably containing a parlour and chambers was added to the E end soon afterwards. The western range, with a possible chapel on the first floor, was also added. In the C16 and C17 extensive internal modifications were made probably by John Brooke, (d1598) and his son Basil (d1646). A porch was added on the south, the interiors were refloored and the N /S wing extended (RCHME 1977).

As a result of Meeson's and Moffett's excavations and structural surveys, much is now known about the early phases of the structural development of the site. A free standing building was constructed in the late Norman period, and a detached building was built at right angles to this in the first half of the C13, to which a kitchen wing and chamber were added in the C14. There were further extensions to that range in the C15 and a detached chapel was built in the courtyard at that date

With the change of ownership in the C16, the site was redeveloped. The Norman building was demolished, with the exception of one wall which was re-used as one wing of a C-shaped Renaissance building which retained the C13 hall at its core. The post medieval sequence consisted of a period of great expansion from the late C16 to the mid C17, and a period of decline, when the building was partially in use as a brewery in the C18 (Moffett 1988).

Excavation and structural survey. Earliest phase of medieval grange shown to be stone structure of late C12th or early C13th, probably associated with fishponds. Later buildings included a cellared hall (13th century), chamber block and kitchen (early 15th), a tower and a chapel (Meeson 1979).

Madeley Court was established in the late 12th century or early 13th century as a grange to Wenlock Priory. The grange was enlarged in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, and after the Dissolution, when it was converted into a house, it was substantially altered. A gatehouse was added and walls were built to enclose the garden. At the centre of the garden a sundial was placed. Madeley Court is a Listed Building Grade II star, the gatehouse listed Grade I, the garden walls are listed Grade II and II star, and the sundial is listed Grade II star.

In 1987 the monument was descheduled in favour of its Listed Building status. Archaeological excavations and a building survey were undertaken prior to its descheduling (Reid Malcolm L. 2002-Mar-15. MPP Non-Scheduling Alternative Action Report). (Shropshire HER)

Gatehouse Comments

The medieval monastic grange was not fortified, although a tower (probably a chamber block) is recorded in 1498 but the house developed in the late C16 into a fine manor house with a gatehouse although this is not crenellated. An example of the enduring value of basic castle forms adapted to new fashions.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceSJ695051
Latitude52.6428108215332
Longitude-2.45171999931335
Eastings369500
Northings305100
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Books

  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 458
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 479
  • Baugh, G.C. and Elrington, C.R. (eds), 1985, VCH Shropshire Vol. 11 p. 37-8 online transcription
  • Pevsner, N., 1958, Buildings of England: Shropshire (London, Penguin) p. 193-4
  • Stackhouse-Acton, Frances, 1868, The Castles and Old Mansions of Shropshire (Shrewsbury) p. 34 online copy

Journals

  • Moffett, M.C., 1988, Shropshire News Sheet Vol. 26 p. 1
  • Meeson, B., 1980, Shropshire Archaeological Society newsletter Vol. 11 p. 2
  • Meeson, B., 1979, 'Madeley Court, Telford' West Midlands Archaeology Vol. 22 p. 80-2

Other

  • Dalwood, H. and Bryant, V. (eds), 2005, The Central Marches Historic Towns Survey 1992-6 Download online copy
  • Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1977, Field Survey Report