Holdgate Village Defences

Has been described as a Possible Urban Defence

There are earthwork remains

NameHoldgate Village Defences
Alternative NamesHolgate; Helgots; Stanton Holegate; Stanton Long
Historic CountryShropshire
Modern AuthorityShropshire
1974 AuthorityShropshire
Civil ParishAbdon

Village occupied outer bailey of Holdgate Castle Deserted village - possibly planned - survives as earthworks. Domesday records 14 tenants; as late as 1672 there were 18 houses here; however by C18 there may have been only a single farm left.

To the south west of the motte, its north east side conjoined with the south west section of motte ditch, lies a smaller, possibly earlier, bailey. This level platform, edged by a steep scarp averaging 2m high, now forms the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church. It is roughly triangular in shape with internal dimensions of 77m north to south by 65m east to west. The parish church lies at the centre of this enclosure, a siting which agrees with the early reference to the church being constructed within the confines of the castle. The church and churchyard are still in use and are excluded from the scheduling but the perimeter scarp of the enclosure is included within the scheduling. The church is Listed Grade B. To the south east of the motte and bailey complex, occupying ground falling to the south east, is a complex of earthworks forming a series of rectangular enclosures. They are believed to represent the remains of formal gardens associated with the later phases of the castle complex. The enclosures are bounded by strong cross-slope scarps up to 1m high with down-slope banks arranged at right angles to the scarps. At least four distinct rectangular plots with an average internal area of approximately 0.7ha can be recognised. To the south west of the enclosures lies a pond which appears to be associated with the earthworks. A well defined north west to south east orientated hollow way, up to 1.5m deep, marks the south western extent of the garden earthworks. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Although the church does lie within a defensive circuit it is not clear that many of the houses of the village were defended. See castle for full bibliography.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO562894
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  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 266


  • Bond J., 2001, 'Earthen Castles, Outer Enclosures and the Earthworks at Ascott d'Oilly Castle, Oxfordshire' Oxoniensia Vol. 46 p. 67-8 (Appendix: Earthwork castles with attached village enclosures) online copy
  • 1983, Medieval Village Research Group Annual Report No. 31 p. 9-11