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Weoley Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Birmingham.
In the historic county of Worcestershire.
Modern Authority of Birmingham.
1974 county of West Midlands.
Medieval County of Worcestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP02158275
Latitude 52.44272° Longitude -1.96978°

Weoley Castle has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry footings remains.

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


Footings and foundations of a fortified manor house. Sandstone with 6 towers and a deep moat. These works date from 1264 when Roger de Somery was licensed to crenellate his manor house. A survey of 1422 gives a detailed plan. Fragments of early C13 wooden buildings have been discovered, indicating early use of both horizontal and vertical weatherboarding. (PastScape–ref. listing report)

Weoley Castle is a fortified, medieval manor-house situated four miles to the southwest of Birmingham city centre in the parish of Northfield within the historic county of Worcestershire. The surviving ruins consist of a stone curtain wall with square towers and the foundations of internal buildings, all surrounded by a wide moat. No trace of a documented outer bailey survives above ground.
In the early medieval period the manor formed a part of the estates of the de Paganel, and de Somery, Barons of Dudley. Excavation has proved that a large timber hall stood on the site in the 12th century with surrounding ditch, bank and palisade. Somewhat later a well- built, ashlar, stone hall was constructed in the north-eastern part of the enclosure with a wooden kitchen to the south. The kitchen is notable for the excellent preservation of its timbers due to waterlogging. It was a weather-boarded structure connected to the stone hall by a raised causeway with timber pentice. The kitchen is probably one of the best preserved, excavated, timber buildings of the period.
In 1264 Roger II de Somery obtained a Licence to Crenellate. This resulted in rebuilding at Dudley Castle under Roger III de Somery and John de Somery and it is probable that the construction of the stone defences at Weoley belongs to this period also. All the earlier buildings within the ditched enclosure were sealed by upcast from the excavation of a new, large moat and the castle defences completely rebuilt in stone. Excavations from before the Second World War and from 1955 to 1962 have effectively uncovered nearly all of the outlines of the stone buildings. The resulting plan can be usefully compared with a survey of the site, dating to 1424, listing the buildings and their function.
Weoley Castle passed from the Barony of Dudley on the death of John de Somery in 1322, when the estates were divided between his two sisters. His sister Joan (and her husband Thomas de Botetourt) retained Weoley as part of her moiety. In the early 15th century the castle passed from the Botetourts, to the Berkeley family, although a series of disputes and a superfluity of claimants meant that this was not a smooth transition. Alterations to the defences in the form of well-constructed turrets, circular and octagonal, and buttresses indicate the continued appreciation of the site as a high-status dwelling – which the finds collection confirms.
The life of the castle as an aristocratic residence came to an end in the early 16th century when the castle was sold to Richard Jervoise, a wealthy London merchant. It remained in the Jervoise family until the 19th century, although during the entire Jervoise tenure it had been sublet to various individuals. Excavations suggest that those buildings remaining were increasingly used as farm out-buildings during this period. (Linnane et al 2011)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1264 March 16 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:10

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