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Monument Name Pleshey Castle
SMR Number 1127
Summary The first extensive excavations were in 1907, by Col W N Tuffnell (the present owner's grandfather).
Media
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Pleshey Castle Reinstatement, Pleshey, Chelmsford
Associated Media
None Available
Description The first extensive excavations were in 1907, by Col W N Tuffnell (the present owner's grandfather). Large buildings on motte and in upper bailey were uncovered. Hundreds of decorated, glazed floor tiles were remeoved to his house at Langleys where they were eventually buried. A rectangular building was found on top of the motte. No record of ths was published until the Morant Club uncovered the foundations again in 1921-1922. The building was 67 x 56ft externally, with a thin curtain-wall, supported on at least 3 sides by 11 projections, of flint rubble-work. Some were solid, some hollow. 3 types of construction were noted but no superimposition of foundations. Yhey are likely to be of different dates but there is no evidence of this yet. This building on the motte was interpretted as a shell-keep within thin curtain walls. Rhatz thought it more likely to be the 15th century Great Hall, in the light of newly discovered 15th century documents. <1> <2> Christy suggested the following dates for the 3 types of construction: 12th century, 13th century, 15th or 16th century. <2> <3> Copy of plan of building on the motte is in the SMR. <4> Monitoring of the reinstatement of Pleshey Castle was undertaken in June 1993. No archaeological remains were revealed during the works. The reinstatement has been completed to the satisfaction of ECC Archaeology section <6>. The castle at Pleshey was built by the mid twelfth century and consisted of a steep oval-shaped motte, surrounded by a moat, with a wide bailey on the northern side. In 1157-8 there was a general order to destroy all the de manderville castles following Geoffrey de manderville II's arraignment for treason. In 1167 premission was given to william de Manderville to refortify pleshey and the construction works appear to have included the construction of a second southern bailey and probably the town enclosure. <7> A survey was made of the castle in 1558-9 which recorded that the buildings were in a state of ruin and desertion. It however also lists some of the structures present, including the brick bridge, a hall, various houses, the Constable’s house, the kitchen and the outer gatehouse; all of these were timber-built and a chapel built of flint-rubble. The survey advocates that the bridge is left intact as access to the motte which had been turned into a rabbit warren.<7>
Monument Type(s) RABBIT WARREN (Dated 1066AD to 1900AD)
CASTLE (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
BUILDING (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
BUILDING (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
HALL HOUSE (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
Monument Class(es) SUB SURFACE DEPOSIT
Period 1066AD to 1900AD Medieval
Status Scheduled Monument
Administration Area PLESHEY, CHELMSFORD, ESSEX
National Grid Reference Square: TL61SE
Ref: 665144
Finds None listed
Events PART EXCAV by Tufnell,WN,

PART EXCAV by Christy,M?,

Sources <1> Excavation report : Pleshey Castle, Essex. 1st Interim Report, 1960 (Rahtz, PA) pp 5-6 Dated : 1960

<1> Excavation report : Pleshey Castle. 1st Interim Report, 1960 (Rahtz, PA) pp5-6 Dated : 1960

<2> Excavation report : Excavations at Pleshey Castle (Williams, F) No 42, p5 Dated : 1977

<2> Excavation report : Excavations at Pleshey Castle (Williams, F) No. 42 p5 Dated : 1977

<3> Excavation report : The Excavation of Foundations on the Castle-keep at Pleshey...Morant Club (Christy,M) New Series, pp190-204 Dated : 1923

<4> Mention : Pleshey Castle. Foundations on Keep Mound (Christy, M) copy from source 3 Dated : 1923

<5> Photograph : unknown (unknown) Dated : 1993

<6> Desc Text : Pleshey Castle, Pleshey, Essex: Monitoring of Reinstatement works (Medlycott, Maria) Dated : 1993

<7> Desc Text : Pleshey Historic Town Assessment Report (Medlycott, Maria) pp 8-9 Dated : 1999