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Cheveley Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Chevele; The Moats

In the civil parish of Cheveley.
In the historic county of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely.
Modern Authority of Cambridgeshire.
1974 county of Cambridgeshire.
Medieval County of Cambridgeshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL67876131
Latitude 52.22441° Longitude 0.45630°

Cheveley Castle has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such, and also as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The castle building stood on a rectangular platform which measures some 45m north west to south east by 38m, and is surrounded by a formidable V-shaped moat. The moat which was probably always dry, ranges from 20m to 25m in width and between 5m and 6m in depth. The considerable quantity of upcast from its construction must have been removed from the site as the island platform is only raised by about 1m above the level of its surroundings. The platform, or ward, was enclosed by a curtain wall of bonded flint rubble, perhaps with dressed stonework for architectural details. Fragments of the coarse stone foundations still remain visible, partly buried in a slight bank along the edges of the two longer sides, and slight rounded protrusions at the four corners clearly indicate the position of corner turrets. Three of the corner turrets are marked by rounded depressions within these projections, and the lower coarse around the outer wall of the eastern turret can still be seen. The surface of the platform is generally level showing no signs of collapsed building materials or wall foundations. It is thought that it originally contained a variety of timber structures, including the lord's main hall and other buildings such as a chapel, kitchens, store rooms and accommodation for guests and retainers, some of which were probably set against the inner face of the curtain wall. The ward has not been excavated or significantly disturbed, and the buried remains of these buildings are considered to survive well. Access to the interior was provided by a drawbridge across the centre of the north western arm of the moat. This has since been replaced by a causeway, although the rubble foundations for the bridge supports remain standing to heights of about 1.5m to either side of the causeway where it abuts the platform. The castle is thought to have been built by Sir John de Pulteney, financier and four times Mayor of London, who was granted a licence to crenellate the dwelling place of his manor in Cheveley in 1341. The resulting structure, which is the only Edwardian castle in Cambridgeshire, is more likely to have served as a mark of Pulteney's status than as a military stronghold, and to have provided a prestigious hunting lodge as the centre piece of a deer park established shortly thereafter. (EH scheduling report 1996)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1341 Oct 6 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


Occasionally called a motte, including in some parts of the Cambridgeshire HER description. It is no such thing, although it has a superficial resemblance. This was a moated manor house. The moat is a dry v shaped ditch and the house-platform somewhat eroded and overgrown but the form is clearly that of a C14 moated manor house and not that of a C11-C12 motte.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

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