The JESSOP Consultancy (TJC Heritage Ltd)

Lichfield + Sheffield + Oxford

Heighley Castle,

Madley, Staffordshire

Grade II Listed Building (NHLE: 1353703); Scheduled Monument (NHLE: 1011070)

Historic Building Recording, Photogrammetry

OASIS: thejesso1-276703

An archaeological building survey of three extant sections of masonry at Heighley Castle was undertaken to guide a scheme of repair works for the site, which is on the Historic England Heritage at Risk register.

The survey comprised of rapid review of readily available archive material, a site survey and the preparation of a series of photogrammetric elevations of the exposed wall faces. Fieldwork was restricted by extraneous vegetation and the hazardous nature of the slope above the rock cut ditch, but new evidence regarding the construction and form of the curtain walling and associated structures has been recorded.

The freestanding block of masonry in the northwest of the site represents the only standing section of the defensive curtain wall, although only the core-work survives.

The large section of masonry located at the top of the rock-cut ditch at the southern edge of the castle once formed a large faceted buttress that supported a tower, or accommodation block above. Photographic evidence from 1939 confirms that this upper section of masonry was still standing in the mid 20th century. Traces of external render on the surface of the stone work may be indicative of an earlier repairs, or an attempt to create a white coloured tower that would have dominated the skyline.

Across the hilltop evidence for former archaeological excavations has been noted, none of which appear to have been back filled. NOTE: The site is in Private ownership and there is no public access

Scope of work:  reappraisal of archaeology, analysis of fabric, photogrammetry