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Alton Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Alverton; Aulton

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SK07284245
Latitude 52.97946° Longitude -1.89241°

Alton Castle has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Castle was in existence here by 1176, some of remains are late C12 and there are additions of the first quarter of the C13. Ashlar with diagonal tooling and rubble core. The castle is situated on a hill overlooking the Churnet Valley. It was protected to the north by a precipitous cliff and to the south by a rock-cut ditch and curtain wall which enclosed an irregularly shaped site on an east-west axis; the gatehouse lay towards the west end of the south curtain and there were two wall towers towards the centre. The South Curtain: mainly late C12. The remains of the wall stretch from the south-east angle of St. John's Preparatory School to the western apex of the site being interrupted by the eastern wall tower; towards the east end of the curtain is a pilaster buttress, at the western apex immediately north of the gatehouse is the base of a square buttress or turret. The parapet has been destroyed but its height and position are to be discerned on the west side of the eastern wall tower (see below). The Eastern Wall Tower: late C12 and bonded into the curtain wall. Square open backed tower with a battered base and a string course at the ground level of the castle enclosure; a blind pointed arch springs from the string course and indicates the position of a barrel vaulted chamber entered from the enclosure; above this is a central arrow loop of circa 1190 with cross slit and fishtail shaped base, to the rear of the loop is a round arched embrasure; from the level of this loop upwards the corners of the tower are chamfered. The left hand side of the tower has a rectangular loop set high up immediately in front of the former south curtain parapet, the position of which is indicated by a break in the ashlar work. On the right hand side of the tower corbelling spans the angle between tower and curtain at parapet level. The Western Wall Tower: early C13. D-shaped. Foundations only. The tower was served by a newel staircase situated in its north-west angle. The Gatehouse: early C13. Twin D-shaped towers survive to a height of approximately 10ft, the eastern tower has a battered and offset plinth. Originally the towers flanked a dentral gate passage with a portcullis at its outer (southern) end, the lower part of a portcullis groove of square section survives on the east side of the passage. A mural staircase entered from a door on the west side of the passage gave access to the upper parts of the gatehouse (now destroyed). Below the level of the former gate passage and between the 2 towers is a sally-port with round arch, it gives access to a central corridor beneath the gate passage, at the north end of which a segmental-headed doorway to the west leads to the basement of the west tower and to a doorway in the north wall which probably communicated with the castle enclosure via a mural staircase. There is no indication as to how the basement of the east tower was entered, it may have been from a trap in the floor of the room above. A short length of wall extends from the front of the western tower and probably terminated the rock-cut ditch to the west and flanked one side of the former approach road.(Listed Building Report)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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