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Wattlesborough Castle, Remains Of, Adjoining Wattlesborough to North West

A Grade I Listed Building in Alberbury with Cardeston, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.7074 / 52°42'26"N

Longitude: -2.9559 / 2°57'21"W

OS Eastings: 335508

OS Northings: 312622

OS Grid: SJ355126

Mapcode National: GBR B8.2DY5

Mapcode Global: WH8BQ.K6MR

Plus Code: 9C4VP24V+XJ

Entry Name: Wattlesborough Castle, Remains Of, Adjoining Wattlesborough to North West

Listing Date: 29 January 1952

Last Amended: 18 March 1986

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1366883

English Heritage Legacy ID: 258911

Location: Alberbury with Cardeston, Shropshire, SY5

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Alberbury with Cardeston

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Cardeston

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

Tagged with: Castle

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SJ 31 SE; 5/6

Wattlesborough Castle, remains of, adjoining Wattlesborough Hall to north-west

(formerly listed as Wattlesborough Hall)




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 (qv). 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. 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 C.P.) 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 (qv) 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. County AM no.126. V.0.
vol. VIII, pp. 197-8; B.O.E., p. 308; The Archaeological Journal, vol. 138,
1981, J. J. West, pp. 33-4; D. F. Renn, Norman Castles in Britain, 1971,
p. 341; Shropshire Libraries, photograph collection.

Listing NGR: SJ3550812621

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