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Castle during the time that the castle was in his custody.1 But about the situation of the chapel of St Nicholas there is no doubt, as its history is traceable down to the 16th century. It stood in the bailey of the castle outside the town. This castle was therefore certainly identical with that of Henry II., and most probably with that of Henry I. and William I.
So far, as we have seen, Stafford Castle was a royal castle. It is true that in the reign of Henry II.'s predecessor, Stephen, we find the castle again in the hands of a Robert de Stafford, who speaks of it as "castellum meum." 2 Apparently the troubles of Stephen's reign afforded an opportunity to the family of the first Norman sheriff to get the castle again into their hands. But under the stronger rule of Henry II. the crown recovered its rights, and the gift of the chapel in the castle evidently could not be made without the consent of the king. The gaol which Henry II. caused to be made in Stafford was doubtless in this castle. John repaired the castle, and ordered bretasches, or wooden towers, to be made in the forest of Arundel, and sent to Stafford: a statement which gives us an insight into the nature of the castle in John's reign. But it was the tendency of sheriffdoms to become hereditary, as Dr Stubbs has pointed out, and this seems to have been the case at Stafford. In the reign
1 Mazzinghi, Salt Arch. Soc. Trans., viii., 22.
2 In a charter to Stone Abbey, Salt Collections, vol. ii. That the castle he speaks of was the one outside the town is proved by his references to land "extra burgum."
3 The Pipe Roll contains several entries relating to this gaol at Stafford. It is clear from several of the documents given by Mr Mazzinghi that the king's gaol of Stafford and the king's gaol of the castle of Stafford are equivalent expressions. Close Rolls, i., 69.
+ Pipe Rolls, 2 John.
• Constitutional History, i., 272.
of Edward I. a local jury decided that Nicholas, Baron of Stafford, held the castle of Stafford from the king in capite, by the service of three and a half knights' fees; and in 1348, Ralph, Baron of Stafford, obtained a license from Edward III. "to fortify and crenellate his manses of Stafford and Madlee with a wall of stone and lime, and to make castles thereof."2 The indenture made with the mason a year previously is still extant, and states that the castle is to be built upon the moële in the manor, whereby the motte is evidently meant.3 Besides, the deed is dated "at the Chastel of Stafford," showing that the new castle of stone and lime was on the site of an already existing castle.
We might spin out further evidence of the identity of the site of William's castle with that of the present one, from the name of the manor of Castel, which grew up around it, displacing the equally suggestive name of Montville, which we find in Domesday Book.* Against the existence of another castle in the town we have the absence of any such castle in William Smith's plan of 1588; the silence of Speed and Leland, who only mention the present castle; and the statement of Plot, who wrote about the end of the 17th century, that "he could not hear any footsteps remaining" of a castle in Stafford. We may therefore safely conclude that it was only due to the fancy of some Elizabethan antiquary that in an old map of that time a spot to the south
1 Cited in Salt Arch. Soc. Trans., vi., pt. i., 258.
2 Patent Rolls, 22 Edward iii., cited by Mazzinghi, p. 80.
3 Salt Arch. Soc. Trans., viii., 122. It was undoubtedly at this time that the oblong stone keep on the motte, which is described in an escheat of Henry's VIII.'s reign, was built.
4 Salt Arch. Coll., viii., 14.
5 Speed's Theatre of Britain; Leland, Itin., vii., 26.
The Stafford escheat of Henry VIII.'s reign, which describes the town, also makes no mention of any castle in the town. Mazzinghi, p. 105.
west of the town is marked with the inscription, “The old castle, built by Edward the Elder, and in memorie fortified with reel walls."1
The value of Stafford town had risen at the time of the Survey, as the king had 77. for his share, which would make the whole revenue to king and earl 10/. 10s., as against 97. before the Conquest. The property of the canons of Stafford had risen from £1 to £3.
The area of the bailey is 1 acres.
STAMFORD, Lincoln and Northants.-This was one of the boroughs fortified by Edward the Elder, and consequently we find it a royal burgus at the time of the Survey. But Edward's borough, the Chronicle tell us, was on the south side of the Welland; the northern borough, on the other side, may have been the work of the Danes, as Stamford was one of the towns of the Danish confederacy of the Five Boroughs. The Norman castle and its motte are on the north side, and five mansiones were destroyed for the site. There is at present no appearance of masonry on the motte, which is partly cut away, and what remains of the castle wall is of the 13th century. It is therefore probable that the turris, or keep, which surrendered to Henry II. in 1153, was of wood.4 Henry gave the castle to Richard Humet, constable of Normandy, in 1155.5 It was a
1 Salt Arch. Trans., viii., 231. The mistake may possibly have arisen from the fact that a fine castellated gateway, shown in W. Smith's map (Description of England), stood on the south-west wall of the town, close to the spot where Speed's map marks a Castle Hill.
2 There must be some error in the first instalment of the Stafford revenue in Domesday, which says that the king and earl have 77. between them, as it is contradicted by the later statement. D. B., i., 246a and 247b, 2.
3 There were 141 mansiones, T. R. E., "et modo totidem sunt præter 5 quæ propter operationem castelli sunt waste." From a passage in the Domesday of Nottingham it would seem that a mansio was a group of houses. Gervase of Canterbury, i., 156, R. S.
6 Peck's Antiquarian Annals of Stamford; he gives the charter, p. 17.
very exceptional thing that Henry should thus alienate a royal castle, and special circumstances must have moved him to this act. The castle was destroyed in Richard III.'s time, and the materials given to the convent of the Carmelite Friars. It appears to have been within the town walls, with a bailey stretching down to the river; this bailey is quadrangular. An inquisition of 1341 states that "the site of the castle contains 2 acres.
Stamford had risen enormously in value since the Conquest. "In King Edward's time it paid 15%; now, it pays for feorm 50l., and for the whole of the king's dues it now pays 287.2
STANTON, Stanton Long, in Shropshire (Fig. 32).— At the time of the Survey, the Norman Helgot was Lord of Corve Dale, and had his castle at Stanton. The castle was afterwards known as Helgot's Castle, corrupted into Castle Holdgate. The site has been much altered by the building of a farmhouse in the bailey, but the motte still exists, high and steep, with a ditch round about half its circumference; there are some traces of masonry on the top. One side of the bailey ditch is still visible, and a mural tower of Edwardian style has been incorporated with the farmhouse. The exact area cannot now be calculated, but it can hardly have exceeded 2 acres. The manor of Stanton was an
1 Cited in Nevinson's "Notes on the History of Stamford," Journ. Brit. Arch. Ass., xxxv.
2 "T. R. E. dabat Stanford 157.; modo dat ad firmam 50%. De omni consuetudine regis modo dat 287."
3 "Ibi habet Helgot castellum, et 2 carucas in dominio, et 4 servos, et 3 villanos, et 3 bordarios, et 1 Francigenam cum 3 carucis. Ibi ecclesia et presbyter. T. R. E. valebat 18 solidos; modo 25 solidos. Wastam invenit." D. B., i., 258b. There are some fragments of Norman work in the church, which is chiefly Early English, doubtless of the same date as the mural tower of the castle.
agglomeration of four small manors which had been held by different proprietors in Saxon times, so it was not the centre of a soke. The value of the manor had risen.
TAMWORTH, Stafford (Fig. 32).-Although Tamworth Castle is not mentioned in Domesday Book, it must have been in existence in the 11th century, as a charter of the Empress Matilda mentions that Robert le Despenser, brother of Urso d'Abetot, had formerly held this castle; now Urso d'Abetot was a contemporary of the Conqueror, and so must his brother have been. Tamworth Castle stands on a motte 50 feet high, and 100 feet in diameter across the top, according to Mr Clark. It is an interesting instance of what is commonly called a shell keep, with a stone tower; one of the instances which suggest that the shell did not belong to a different type of castle to the tower, but was simply a ward wall, which probably at first enclosed a wooden tower. The tower and wall (or chemise) are probably late Norman, but the remarkable wing wall (there is only one, instead of the usual two) which runs down the motte is entirely of herring-bone work, and may be as old as Henry I.'s time. A bailey court, which cannot have been large, lay between the motte and the river Tame, but its outline cannot now be determined, owing to the encroachments of buildings. Tamworth is about a mile from the great Roman road known as Watling Street. We have already referred to the fortification of the burh here by Ethelfleda; *
Stapleton's Introduction to Rot. Scac. Normanniæ, vol. ii.
2 It used to be supposed that herring-bone work was a Saxon sign, and this furnished an additional claim to the Saxon origin of this castle; but it is now known that herring-bone work only occurs in the later Saxon work, and is far more common in Norman. See note, p. 136.
3 See ante, p. 34.