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Description: Whittington Castle
Date Listed: 8 October 1959
English Heritage Building ID: 255836
OS Grid Reference: SJ3261531148
OS Grid Coordinates: 332615, 331148
Latitude/Longitude: 52.8736, -3.0026
This building is also a scheduled monument.
WHITTINGTON C.P. CASTLE STREET (west side)
11/120 Whittington Castle
(formerly listed as The
Castle, remains of. Begun c.1221 by Fulke Fitz Warine on site of late C11
or C12 motte and bailey castle. Regularly coursed and dressed grey limestone
blocks with ashlar dressings; towers of outer gatehouse now with slate roofs.
Original castle of motte and bailey type with bailey to north-west, replaced
by rectangular plan with projecting semi-circular towers to inner and outer
baileys, protected by elaborate water defences. Principal survival is outer
gatehouse: 2 D-shaped towers flanking broad pointed single-chamfered arch
with roll moulding. 2 levels with plain corbel table and embattled parapet.
Restored pointed windows with C19 cast-iron casements to upper level and cross-
shaped arrow-loops to lower level; stepped plinth. Arch has double nail-
studded plank doors with restored panelling to inner face; small armorial
shield above looks C19. Projecting corbelled fireplaces to left and right
in angle with curtain wall, which has cross-shaped arrow-loops plus 2 semi-
circular bastions to right side. Gatehouse approached by short roughly coursed
limestone rubble late medieval bridge with segmental pointed arch. Left
return wall of left tower has 2-light trefoil-headed window with square label
on upper level. Inner wall has segmental-headed chamfered doorway in angle
with gateway. Right curtain wall has late C17 cottage, now offices, behind.
Timber framed with narrow red brick infill, rendered to front and left gable
end; slate roof. One storey and attic; apparently of 2 framed bays. Framing:
square panels, 3 from chamfered plinth to wall-plate, much altered to front;
collar and tie beam truss exposed to left gable end. 2 late C20 casements
to ground floor and 3 contemporary raking eaves dormers. Entrance to right
through late C20 panelled door under contemporary lean-to porch. Stepped
external end stack to left has top rebuilt in late C19 yellow brick; similar
red brick stack to back wall also with top rebuilt in C19 yellow brick.
Extensive ruins of rectangular raised platform to south of moat to south of
outer gatehouse. Facing largely robbed but rubble core survives. Semi-
circular bastion at north-west angle has narrow C13 four-centred arch on first
level to east side, probably originally approached by external steps; remains
of mutilated window opening above and narrow arrow-loop to west. Remains
of another small bastion behind, formerly forming part of gatehouse, and of
larger bastions to north-east, south-east and south-west corners. Foundations
of several buildings on platform uncovered by excavation, including those
of central rectangular tower (possibly the keep) with a forebuilding to east
and a circular tower. Several fireplaces and a well. Extensive earthworks
in fields to south and west and probably also formerly to east, but now truncated
in latter direction by road, include an oval-shaped flat-topped mound to west,
which may be the original motte. Water played an important part in the castle's
defences and the surrounding moats are best preserved to the north, south
and east of the outer gatehouse. Much destruction occurred in the mid-to
late C18, the eastern tower collapsing in 1760 with one of the northern towers
and part of the west wall being demolished shortly afterwards to provide material
for repairs to the Whittington-Halston road. Scheduled Ancient Monument
(County No.17). Interior. Only partial inspection of outer gatehouse possible
at time of resurvey (June 1986) and apparently much altered but likely to
retain some features of interest. B.o.E. p. 317; V.C.H. Vol I (1908), p.401;
William Cathrall, The History of Oswestry (1855), p.281. James Forde-Johnston,
Great Medieval Castles of Britain (1979), pp.68-9.
Listing NGR: SJ3260931152
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.