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Shocklach Oldcastle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Shocklatch; Shockleach; Shockleach; Castletown Bridge

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ433508
Latitude 53.05133° Longitude -2.84657°

Shocklach Oldcastle has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A well preserved motte, situated on the edge of a steep ravine. The mound rises 4.0 m above the bottom of the ditch, which has a counterscarp bank. (PastScape)

Shotlack was a Welsh frontier fortress forming an important link in the chain of Cheshire castles between Alford and Malpas. Lord Dudley claimed the right in 15 Hen VII to maintain this castle fortified, ditched and crenellated. The earthworks were very strong, occupying an important pass where the present road to Chester crosses a deep ravine. On the W side of the road is a very early circular mound 20' high, on the top of which the Normans placed their keep. On the E side of the road is another raised kite-shaped platform also of ancient formation. No vestiges of masonry now remain. (PastScape–ref. Clark)

There is no real reason to think the Norman castle ever had masonry, despite Clark's comment.

The Shocklach 'moat' and Shocklach Oldcastle are recorded on the same record in the PastScape.

Swallow (2013/14) shows this was not a precursor site to the moat. These two sites were separate motte and bailey castles, held by different owners and, possibly, concurrent with each other. They were in different manors and the probably manorial boundary was the road between the two sites. This road, at this point, is recorded as having a toll gate from at least 1290 and the two castle may have been built to control this route and for the income the tolls generated.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:32

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