Wattlesborough Castle

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Wattlesborough Tower
Alberbury, Shropshire, England
Wattlesborough Tower, Shropshire.png
Wattlesborough Tower, Alberbury
Shropshire UK location map.svg
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Wattlesborough Tower
Coordinates 52°42′27″N2°57′22″W / 52.7074°N 2.9560°W / 52.7074; -2.9560 Coordinates: 52°42′27″N2°57′22″W / 52.7074°N 2.9560°W / 52.7074; -2.9560
TypeTower House
Site information
Site history

Wattlesborough Tower is a ruined fortified 13th-century manor house or Tower House in Shropshire. [1] It is situated close to the boundary with Powys in Wales. Wattlesborough is a former township within the present parish of Alberbury. The castle is a Grade 1 listed scheduled monument. [2] The Tower comprises a square two-storey tower above an undercroft surrounded by a moated enclosure with a fishpond. The Leighton family inherited Wattlesborough in 1471 and used it as their chief residence until circa 1711. At that time an adjoining farm building was constructed and named Wattlesborough Hall.

Shropshire County of England

Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands of England, bordering Wales to the west, Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, and Worcestershire and Herefordshire to the south. Shropshire Council was created in 2009, a unitary authority taking over from the previous county council and five district councils. The borough of Telford and Wrekin has been a separate unitary authority since 1998 but continues to be included in the ceremonial county.

Powys Place

Powys is a principal area and county, and one of the preserved counties of Wales. It is named after the Kingdom of Powys which was a Welsh successor state, petty kingdom and principality that emerged during the Middle Ages following the end of Roman rule in Britain.

Wales Country in northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.



The manor of Wattlesborough was held by Edric before the Norman Conquest and by the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 it had passed to Roger Fitz Corbet [3] and subsequently held as one Knight's fee by the successors of Roger as Lords of Caus in Shropshire. Edward Blore gives the succession of Wattlesborough, from the Corbets, to the Mawdy from 1382-1414, to the De Burghs from 1414-1471 and from 1471 when it passed to the Leighton family. Blore thought that the Tower had been built by Roger Corbet in 1280, but this may be a little to early. [4] A John Leighton was MP for Shropshire in 1468 [5] and he was followed by other family members [6] [7] [8] who also served as MP for Shropshire. [5] The Leighton family lived at Wattlesborough until 1711, when they moved to nearby Loton. [9] From then onwards Wattlesborough became a farmhouse.

Domesday Book 11th-century survey of landholding in England as well as the surviving manuscripts of the survey

Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states:

Then, at the midwinter [1085], was the king in Gloucester with his council .... After this had the king a large meeting, and very deep consultation with his council, about this land; how it was occupied, and by what sort of men. Then sent he his men over all England into each shire; commissioning them to find out "How many hundreds of hides were in the shire, what land the king himself had, and what stock upon the land; or, what dues he ought to have by the year from the shire."

In feudal Anglo-Norman England and Ireland, a knight's fee was a unit measure of land deemed sufficient to support a knight. Of necessity, it would not only provide sustenance for himself, his family, esquires and servants, but also the means to furnish himself and his retinue with horses and armour to fight for his overlord in battle. It was effectively the size of a fee sufficient to support one knight in the ongoing performance of his feudal duties (knight-service). A knight's fee cannot be stated as a standard number of acres as the required acreage to produce a given crop or revenue would vary depending on many factors, including its location, the richness of its soil and the local climate, as well as the presence of other exploitable resources such as fish-weirs, quarries of rock or mines of minerals. If a knight's fee is deemed co-terminous with a manor, an average size would be between 1,000 and 5,000 acres, of which much in early times was still "waste", forest and uncultivated moorland.

Caus Castle 12th-century castle in England built within an Iron Age hillfort

Caus Castle is a hill fort and medieval castle in the civil parish of Westbury in the English county of Shropshire. It is situated up on the eastern foothills of the Long Mountain guarding the route from Shrewsbury, Shropshire to Montgomery, Powys on the border between England and Wales.

Architectural history

The castle is a Grade I listed scheduled monument. Only the roofless tower remains and its condition is officially classified as poor. Historic England are in discussions with the owners to decide the best way of preserving the building. [10]

Listed building Collection of protected architectural creations in the United Kingdom

A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, Cadw in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.

Historic England Executive non-departmental public body of the British Government, tasked with protecting the historical environment of England

Historic England is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It is tasked with protecting the historical environment of England by preserving and listing historic buildings, ancient monuments and advising central and local government.

Wattlesborough Castle and Hall Wattlesborough Hall - geograph.org.uk - 757775.jpg
Wattlesborough Castle and Hall


See also

Grade I listed buildings in Shropshire Wikimedia list article

There are over 9000 Grade I listed buildings in England. This page is a list of these buildings in the county of Shropshire, by district.

Alberbury with Cardeston is a civil parish in Shropshire, England. It contains 58 listed buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these, one is listed at Grade I, the highest of the three grades, seven are at Grade II*, the middle grade, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade. The parish contains the villages and settlements of Alberbury, Cardeston, Wollaston, Halfway House, and Rowton, and is otherwise rural. In the parish the listed buildings include two ruined castles, two country houses and associated structures including lodges, and three churches and items in the churchyards. Most of the other listed buildings are houses, cottages, farmhouses and farm buildings, and the rest include the remains of a windmill, two milestones, a public house, and a war memorial. Three of the listed buildings are also Scheduled Monuments.

Related Research Articles

Shropshire was established during the division of Saxon Mercia into shires in the 10th century. It is first mentioned in 1006. After the Norman Conquest it experienced significant development, following the granting of the principal estates of the county to eminent Normans.

Loton Park

Loton Park is a country house near Alberbury, Shrewsbury in Shropshire, on the upper reaches of the River Severn. It is a Grade II* listed building. It has been the seat of the Leighton family since 1391.

Alberbury with Cardeston

Alberbury with Cardeston is a civil parish in Shropshire, England. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 645, increasing to 1,011 at the 2011 Census. It includes the villages and hamlets of Alberbury, Cardeston, Little Shrawardine, Wollaston, Halfway House, Wattlesborough Heath and Rowton, and has Alberbury Castle and Wattlesborough Castle within its borders. To the west the parish borders Wales, whilst to the north it is bounded by the River Severn.

Wollaston, Shropshire village in Shropshire, United Kingdom

Wollaston is a small village in Shropshire, England, only a quarter of a mile from the Welsh border.

Halfway House, Shropshire village in United Kingdom

Halfway House is a village in Shropshire, England, halfway between Shrewsbury and Welshpool on the A458 road. Also, it is known to be halfway between Birmingham and Aberystwyth.

Shropshire is a former United Kingdom Parliamentary constituency. It was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England, then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800, and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832. It was represented by two Knights of the Shire. It was divided between the constituencies of North Shropshire and South Shropshire in 1832.

Alberbury Castle

Alberbury Castle is in the village of Alberbury, some nine miles north-west of Shrewsbury, Shropshire and very close to the border with Wales. It is a Grade II listed building.

Alberbury village in United Kingdom

Alberbury is a village in Shropshire, England, 9 miles (14 km) west of Shrewsbury on the B4393 road which travels from Ford to Lake Vyrnwy. It is on to the England-Wales border, marked by Prince's Oak.

Leighton baronets

There have been two baronetcies created for persons with the surname Leighton, one in the Baronetage of England and one in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. One creation is extant as of 2010.

Sir Baldwin Leighton, 7th Baronet British politician and landowner

Sir Baldwin Leighton, 7th Baronet was an English landowner and politician, who sat in the House of Commons from 1859 to 1865.

Sir Baldwyn Leighton, 8th Baronet English landowner and politician

Sir Baldwyn Leighton, 8th Baronet was an English Conservative Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1877 to 1885.

Andrew Corbet English politician

Sir Andrew Corbet (1580–1637) was an English politician of Shropshire landed gentry background who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1624 and 1629. A Puritan sympathiser, he at first supported the government but became an increasingly vocal opponent of Charles I's policies and ministers.

Andrew Corbet (died 1578) English landowner and politician

Sir Andrew Corbet was a prominent English Protestant politician of the mid-Tudor and early Elizabethan periods: a member of the powerful Council in the Marches of Wales for a quarter of a century. Drawn from the landed gentry of Shropshire and Buckinghamshire, he was twice a member of the Parliament of England for Shropshire.

Richard Corbet (died 1566) English politician

Richard Corbet was an English landowner and politician who represented Shropshire in the parliaments of 1558 and 1563.

Robert Corbet (died 1583) English landowner, diplomat and politician

Robert Corbet (1542–1583) was an English landowner, diplomat and politician of the Elizabethan period, a Member (MP) of the Parliament of England for Shropshire, his native county.

Sir Richard Corbet (c.1545–1606) was an English landowner and politician of the Elizabethan period.

Thomas Leighton (died 1600) English politician, died 1600

Thomas Leighton was an English soldier and politician.

Edward Leighton (died 1593) English politician

Sir Edward Leighton was an English politician, and a leading political figure in Shropshire in the late sixteenth century.

Francis Bromley was an English politician. A member of an important legal and landowning dynasty of the Shropshire landed gentry, his career was cut short by an early death. He was a Member (MP) of the Parliament of England for Shropshire in 1584.


  1. "Wattlesborough Castle (uninhabited parts)". Historic England. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  2. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1366883)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  3. Victoria County History of Shropshire, VolI, 325
  4. ”Blore”, 99-102.
  5. 1 2 ”Blore”,102.
  6. LEIGHTON, Edward (by 1525-93), of Wattlesborough, Salop. Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982; accessed 2 March 2018.
  7. LEIGHTON, Thomas (c.1554-1600), of Wattlesborough, Salop. Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981; accessed 2 March 2018.
  8. LEIGHTON, Sir Thomas (c.1535-c.1611), of Feckenham, Worcs. and Guernsey. Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981; accessed 2 March 2018.
  9. "Parks and Gardens: Loton Park, Alberbury, Shropshire, England" . Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  10. "Wattlesborough Castle (uninhabited parts), Alberbury with Cardeston - Shropshire". Historic England. Retrieved 8 January 2019.

Heritage at Risk : Wattlesborough+Castle