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Cheney Longville Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Cheyney Longville; Longefeld

In the civil parish of Wistanstow.
In the historic county of Shropshire.
Modern Authority of Shropshire.
1974 county of Shropshire.
Medieval County of Shropshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO41758476
Latitude 52.45773° Longitude -2.85873°

Cheney Longville Castle has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.

Description

The moated site at Castle Farm, Cheney Longville, survives well in the form of substantial earthworks and buried deposits and is unusual in being associated with a series of substantial standing buildings of medieval origin. The surviving system of water-management features is a good example of a medieval phenomenon which gives an insight into contemporary ideas of defence and status, as well as economy. Evidence for the reuse of part of the moat as tanning pits in the 18th and 19th centuries preserves valuable information about the tanning industry and the way it was carried out on this site. As a result of the survival of historical documents relating to both the medieval manor house and the post-medieval tanning activity the site is quite well understood.
The monument is situated at Castle Farm, to the north west of Cheney Longville village and includes the earthwork and buried remains of a moated site, parts of the associated water management features and a number of post-medieval tanning pits. Approximately 150m north east of the moated site is Cheney Longville ringwork castle which is the subject of a separate scheduling. The manor of Longville was owned by the Cheney family from the early 14th century and in 1395 Richard II granted Roger Cheney a licence to crenellate his house there. The property passed to the Plowdens in the 17th century, and onto the Beddoes family during the 18th century. The north western and north eastern moat ditches have been largely infilled, but they will survive as buried features, and the remains of an earthen bank at the eastern corner of the moated site indicates that the north eastern moat arm was originally bounded by a retaining bank which continues along the south eastern side of the moat. A narrow bank or spur divides the south eastern moat arm into two parts; here therefore, it takes the form of two parallel channels which are believed to have been associated with fish breeding. Access to the moated island is by means of a stone bridge across the now infilled north western moat ditch. The moated island is occupied by a group of stone buildings constructed on a courtyard plan believed to be medieval in origin. These include Castle Farmhouse, a Grade II Listed Building principally 17th century in date, and its associated farm buildings which are also Listed Grade II. The latter are believed to date from the 14th century with later alterations and retain a number of their original architectural features. They are now used as farm outbuildings and, together with the farmhouse itself, are not included in the scheduling.
Immediately to the north of the moated site is a large retaining bank, up to 2.5m high, which has been constructed across a stream channel (now channelled below the ground surface). The pond formed behind this dam is now dry and would have originally extended over a large area to the north and north west of the moated site. Together with the other water-management features surrounding the moated platform it would have served to enhance the visual impact, and thus the status, of the buildings which occupied the platform. From the 18th century onwards the land immediately to the south west of the moated island was used for tanning operations. The buildings associated with these activities are situated to the south west of the moated site, whilst several small ponds, separated by stone retaining walls, have been laid out within the moat ditch itself. Here, the hides would have been steeped in vegetable solutions containing tannin and washed during the preparation processes of producing leather. These ponds provide evidence for later industrial activities at the site and are thus included in the scheduling. (Scheduling Report)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1394 Sept 1 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
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Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 16/11/2016 08:37:37

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