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Stafford Town Defences

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Staffordie; East Gate; Green Gate; North Gate; Goal Gate; West Gate

In the civil parish of Stafford.
In the historic county of Staffordshire.
Modern Authority of Staffordshire.
1974 county of Staffordshire.
Medieval County of Staffordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ923234
Latitude 52.80640° Longitude -2.11142°

Stafford Town Defences has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

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

Description

Scant remains of C13 stone wall, which, with ditch, marshes, river and earthbanks, made Stafford medieval town defences. Grant of timber made in 1215 and first murage granted in 1224. Built to replace those of the Anglo Saxon burh (which may have enclosed a smaller area) Refortified during the Civil War, raised in 1643, the walls were in ruins by the 1670s. PastScape also reports sites of four town gates of which traces remain of one, though not in situ. Note especially medieval north gate (SJ92082353) which by C17 it was in use as a prison and was known as Gaol Gate and was ruinous by 1678 and which is sometimes confused with the Domesday King's Castle

East Gate. Part of gate, the sole remaining fragment of the medieval town walls. Probably early C15, most of gate demolished c1800, moved for road widening, 1939, and rebuilt against wall of a cottage which was demolished in 1964. Dressed squared stone. Wall approx. 5 metres tall and 3 metres wide, with some dressed jambs to right end; part of brick cottage wall remains to rear. (Listed Building Report)

Stafford has today no visible indications of defences, but there was a grant of timber in 1216, followed by a long series of murage grants. A large-scale map in the William Salt Library, Stafford, undated but c. 1620, shows a complete circuit of defences; the conventions suggest that about half of it was stone wall, the remainder timber palisading. (Barley)

It has been incorrectly suggested that a Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1215 May 12 (Click on the date for details of this supposed licence.).

Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
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.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
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 01/09/2016 17:58:35

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