Clun Castle Conservation Management Plan - Report

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Prepared by Headland Archaeology for English Heritage, Nov 2012

Text of Clun Castle Conservation Management Plan - Report


Clun Castle, Clun, ShropshireConservation Plan for English Heritage

November 2012

Clun Castle, Clun, ShropshireConservation Plan for English Heritage

November 2012

HA Job no.: CCCS10 HAS no.: 917 NGR: SO 29837 80941 Local authority: Shropshire Project Manager Authors Research Assistant Graphics Approved by Andy Boucher Luke Craddock-Bennett, Richard K Morriss, Andy Boucher & Hilary Smith Lise Brekmoe Julia Bastek Andy Boucher Project Manager

Headland Archaeology (UK) LtdMidlands & West Headland Archaeology Unit 1, Premier Business Park, Faraday Road Hereford HR4 9NZ 01432 364 901

Headland Archaeology (UK) Ltd

Clun Castle, Clun, Shropshire CCCS10

Contents1.INTRODUCTION TO THE PLAN 2. CLUN: ITS SETTING & OUTLINE HISTORY2 2 3 8 8 9 10 10 10 10 11 11 12 13 14 14 14 14 15 15 15 15 17 17 17 17 17 17 18 18 18 18 18 20 20 20 20 21

3.THE CASTLE 4.THE STANDING BUILDINGS 4.1The Great Tower 4.2Perimeter Wall and Bastions 4.3The South-East Fragment 4.4The North-East Fragments 5.THE MAJOR EARTHWORKS 5.1The Motte 5.2The South Bailey 5.3The East Bailey 5.4The Pleasance 6.ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORIC BULDING RECORDING 7.ECOLOGY 7.1 Methodology7.2.1 7.2.2 7.2.3 7.2.4 7.2.5 7.2.6 7.2.7 Habitat types Shropshire Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species Protected mammal species Other mammals Birds Amphibians and Reptiles Invertebrates


7.3Summary of significant nature conservation features 8.ASSESSMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE 8.1Evidential value8.1.1 8.1.2 8.1.3 8.1.4 8.2.1 8.2.2 The standing structures Buried remains Documentary archives Ecological assets Associative Illustrative

8.2Historical value

8.3Aesthetic value 8.4 Communal value8.4.1 8.4.2 Commemorative and symbolic Social

9.ASSESSMENT OF VULNERABILITY AND CONSERVATION NEEDS 9.1Summary of works to date 9.2 Current vulnerabilities9.2.1 9.2.2 9.2.3 Standing structures Earthworks Associated assets

21 21 22 22 22 23 23 23 23 23 23 24 24 24 24 24 25 25 25 25 25 25 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 27 29 57

10.ASSESSMENT OF MANAGEMENT NEEDS 10.1 Marketing 10.2 Visitor information 10.3 Working with the community 10.4 Maintenance checks 11. CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE SITE 11.1Policies11.1.1 Evidential policies 11.1.2 Historical policies 11.1.3 Aesthetic policies 11.1.4 Communal policies

12.SUMMARY LIST OF POLICIES 12.1Evidential 12.2Historical 12.3Aesthetic 12.4 Communal 13.RECOMMENDATIONS 13.1 Conservation 13.2Assessment of areas of erosion 13.3 Consider ways in which the grassland can be managed 13.4 Managing the Pleasance 13.5Improving access 13.6Improving publicity, presentation and interpretation 13.7Improved understanding 13.8 Centralisation of archives 14.REFERENCES 15.List of consultees 16. Gazetteer

17.Appendices Appendix 1English Heritage internal documents Appendix 2Archives and sources

57 57

Headland Archaeology (UK) Ltd

Clun Castle, Clun, Shropshire CCCS10

List of illustrationsIllus 1 Illus 2 Illus 3 Illus 4 Illus 5 Illus 6 Illus 7 Illus 8 Illus 9Site location Clun Castle from the north-east (2004) Engraving by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck - 1731 Roque map of 1752 Baughs map of 1808 First Edition Ordnance Survey map - c.1820 Ordnance Survey map - 1883 Watercolour by Rev. Edward Williams 1791 Plan showing the layout of elements of the Castle The Great Tower c.1900 Interior of the Great Tower (1993) The Great Tower, interior of the northern elevation (1993) The Perimeter Wall and Bastions, eastern elevation (1993) North-eastern fragments (1993) The Motte and Great Tower, eastern elevation (1993) The South Bailey, looking south from the south-east fragment (1993) The Pleasance, looking west from the perimeter walls (2010) Grading of deposits within the Great Tower (1993) Archaeological recording of the Great Tower (1991) Staircase and floor of the Great Tower revealed during excavation (1990) Location map Ecology Clun Castle and The Pleasance (1950)

x 2 3 5 5 5 6 7 8 9 9 9 10 11 11 12 12 13 13 13 16 18 19 21 22 23

Illus 11

Illus 10

Illus 12 Illus 13 Illus 14

Illus 15 Illus 16

Illus 17

Illus 20 Illus 18 Illus 19

Illus 21

Illus 22

Illus 2325 Illus 26 Illus 27

Elevation drawings of the Great Tower interior. City of Hereford Archaeology Unit, 1990 Repair of the wall tops (1992) Soft capping on the Great Tower Desire-lines, February 2011

Illus 28a & 28b

Headland Archaeology (UK) Ltd

Clun Castle, Clun, Shropshire CCCS10

List of tablesTable 1 Table 2English Heritage archaeological work at Clun Castle Artistic impressions of the castle

14 20

Clun Castle Shropshire



100km329800 3300008

A4 88


F a ir F ieldA4 88



B eryldene


The Pleasance Castle remainsB owling G reen C as tle G a te

C lun

V a le



Tel E x


Hous e



E S TR LD 88 A4



C as tle C otta ge C as tle Moa t R ecrea tion G round B roo s ideR iv eBU FF AL

S tone Wa lls






r C lu


KeyPC C ar P a rk

C lun B ridge

scheduled monument area land under guardianship8 B 436Dea nru ind sh

P a rk C otta ge


A 488

Reproduced using 2011 OS 1:50,000 Landranger Series no. 137. Ordnance Survey Crown copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Licence no. AL 100013329

Scale 1:2,000 @ A4




Illus 1Location map Site location

Headland Archaeology (UK) Ltd

Clun Castle, Clun, Shropshire CCCS10

Clun Castle, Clun, ShropshireConservation Plan for English Heritage

Clun Castle is a motte and bailey castle established in the late 11th century on the Shropshire border with Wales. The site is valued by both its local community and the nation as a whole, and might be described as rural, remote and even romantic. Its location in the Marches embodies a landscape that has experienced times of conflict as well as more affluent periods since it was established. The property is unstaffed and open to the public all year round. Major consolidation of the standing masonry was carried out in 19911992 and the standing elements of the castle remain in relatively good condition. A programme of consultation with various stakeholders has identified issues for consideration in the future conservation of the site. The earthworks suffer from human and natural erosion caused by vehicular access on the site, desire-lines caused by members of the public, and riverbank erosion. The Pleasance, a medieval water garden surviving as a series of earthworks on the west bank of the River Clun has suffered the effects of ploughing. Clun Castle is set aside from many other similar sites across Britain by a number of attributes. It is relatively untouched (both by archaeologists and antiquarians); it contains well preserved earthworks, masonry structures survive in places; it shares a clear relationship with surrounding topographic features such as the River Clun and low lying ground to the north; it also possesses a strong geographical link with the village. All these aspects combine to create a monument that is easily interpretable, accessible, and has the potential to be visually striking. The purpose of this Conservation Plan for Clun Castle is to set out a vision for its future management and to provide guidance on risks, opportunities and planning. As with all heritage assets there are both future threats and opportunities that need to be managed. Through the conservation planning process key priorities relating to the site have been drawn up and these broadly encompass: The continued and improved conservation of the monument. The way in which the monument is presented, including appearance and setting. Improving accessibility and community use of the monument.

The vision for the future of this monument, which stands in one of the countrys more remote historical places, will ensure the ongoing conservation of the evidential and historic features of the site alongside the management of its aesthetic and communal values. This will involve: ensuring that the general management of the site can be undertaken in cost effective ways that are in keeping with its rural aspect; managing the natural processes of erosion (such as the evolving river bank); ensuring that public events can be held in harmony with the long term survival of its vulnerable but clearly defined physical form; and achieving a much wider public knowledge of its existence alongside improved access, orientation and interpretation.




English Heritage identified a need for a detailed conservation plan of Clun Castle. The monument which belongs to the Duke of Norfolk was taken into guardianship in 1991 and a programme of repairs and renovation was undertaken on the site. Clun Castle is a motte and bailey castle believed to have been established in the late 11th century. The standing masonry structures including a square keep, perimeter wall and bastions are likely to date to the late 13th or early 14th century. The assets in the guardianship of English Heritage include the earthwork and masonry remains of Clun Castle and low lying land to the north and south of the monument. The land to the north of the monument (adjacent to the confluence of the River Clun and River Unk) and the South Meadow are not within the Scheduled Area. A series of medieval water management features (The Pleasance) associated with the c