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Aldford Blobb Hill

In the civil parish of Aldford.
In the historic county of Cheshire.
Modern Authority of Cheshire.
1974 county of Cheshire.
Medieval County of Cheshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ41895952
Latitude 53.13001° Longitude -2.87014°

Aldford Blobb Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Alford is not directly mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086. It was part of the scattered holding of Bigot de Loges. A timber and earth Motte and bailey castle was built here as part of a line of defence along the Welsh borders in C11. The first owner to take the name of Aldford was Robert de Aldford, who built or refortified the castle in stone just in C12. In 1209 Sir John Ardene succeeded to estate and the manor remained in the Arderne family until 1464, when it passed to Stanleys by marriage until 1503. For the next two centuries it was rented and leased. The castle fell into decay and much of stone was robbed. By end of C18 it had passed to Grosvenor family in whose estate it remains. Both the Motte and bailey were planted with trees and, with the water-filled bailey ditch, they formed a parkland. (Cheshire HER)

Motte and bailey castle surviving as an earthwork with remains of shell keep. The motte has an average height of 5.2m and is flat topped. It is surrounded by a ditch with an average width of 10m at the lower level and from the exterior 2.4m. an outer bank 1.2m high extends around part of the east side. The bailey is enclosed by a ditch 2m deep and 18m wide. The castle may date to C12. Excavation in 1959 by two scholboys found a piscina. Geophysical Survey in 1996 of the motte and bailey to locate any anomalies, in particular evidence of building remains. The positive results are hard to interpret; there may be one large rectangular building with a possible tower at its NW corner, or a range of buildings. There is some evidence of a wall enclosing the motte. No clearly defined archaeological anomalies were detected within the bailey. A small exploratory excavation in 1999 directed by S.W Ward and A. Lowerre of Boston College, USA, was carried out with volunteers from Chester Archaeological Society and elsewhere. Work continued in 2000. 2002 was the third season. No Norman deposits were found, but medieval features included an occupation layer, cess pit, possible stone building spread, bone fragments and C13-C14 pottery.

There is a slight suggestion that Aldford was the site of a Saxon royal palace (Dodgson, 1972, p. 75)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:32

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