Caverswall Castle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Caverswall Castle
Caverswall, Staffordshire, England
Caverswall Castle.jpg
Caverswall Castle, 1845
Caverswall Castle is located in Staffordshire
Caverswall Castle
Caverswall Castle
Coordinates52°58′57″N 2°04′33″W / 52.9825°N 2.0759°W / 52.9825; -2.0759Coordinates: 52°58′57″N 2°04′33″W / 52.9825°N 2.0759°W / 52.9825; -2.0759
Grid referencegrid reference SJ950428
TypeMansion, built within older castle
Site information
OwnerPrivate ownership
Site history

Caverswall Castle is a privately owned early 17th-century English mansion built in a castellar style upon the foundations and within the walls of a 13th-century medieval castle. It is a Grade I listed building in Caverswall, Staffordshire. The castle is large, with a floor area of 2,030 square yards (1,700 m2).[1]


In ancient times, the manor of Caverswall was held by the eponymous Caverswall family, who in 1275 were granted licence to crenellate their manor house. The resulting medieval moated castle was approximately rectangular in plan with four angle towers and a keep within the curtain walls.

In the 15th century the castle, which was owned by the Caverswall family, became the seat of the Montgomery family, three of whom served as High Sheriff of Staffordshire.[2] During the English Civil War it was garrisoned by parliamentary forces[3] and was much decayed and neglected by the end of the 16th century.

The neglected castle was purchased in 1615 by Matthew Cradock of Stafford, a local wool merchant, first mayor of Stafford in 1614 and Member of Parliament for Stafford in 1621.[4] He built the present mansion house retaining the old castle walls, to a design, it is said, of Robert Smythson or John Smythson.[1] The three storey house has five bays each with stone mullioned and transomed windows. There is a castellated parapet and an entrance porch[1]

When the Cradock male line failed the estate was sold in 1655 to William Joliffe (High Sheriff of Staffordshire for 1663) [2] but the eventual heir William Vane, 2nd Viscount Vane,[5] was forced to sell it. Thereafter the castle had several owners. In 1811 it was occupied as a nunnery by a Benedictine order who sold it in 1853 to Sir Perceval Radcliffe, when they then relocated to Oulton Abbey. In the 1880s it was rented by the Wedgwood family.[6] In 1891 it was purchased by W.E. Bowers who carried out extensive renovations and much improved the property. W.A. Bowers then sold it in 1933 to the Sisters of the Holy Ghost, who in turn sold it in 1965 to another convent, the Daughters of the House of Mary. When they left in 1977 the Castle was sold in various lots.[7] More recently it was bought in 2006 by property tycoon Robin MacDonald for £1.7m who spent £1 million renovating it.[8]

As the house remains private owned, it is not open to the public.

In February 2015 the property was offered for sale with Sotheby's for £3 million.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Heritage Gateway, architectural description of listed building - Caverswall Castle
  2. ^ a b A Survey of Staffordshire; Containing the Antiquities of that County Erdeswick and Harwood (1820) p187 Google Books
  3. ^ History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire William White (1834) p730
  4. ^ He was a cousin of Matthew Cradock (d. 1641), coloniser of Massachusetts.
  5. ^ "Cavarswall Castle, the seat of the Right Honorable Lord Viscount Vane" (William Tunnicliffe, A Survey of the County of Stafford..., "From Uttoxeter to Drayton", in A Topographical Survey of the Counties of Stafford, Chester and Lancashire... 1786:13.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Caverswall Castle". Staffordshire Pasttrack. Archived from the original on 14 March 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  8. ^ Daily Mail. 13 March 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Caverswall Castle". Sotheby's. Retrieved 14 October 2016.

External links[edit]