Charlton Hall

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Charlton Hall's History by Owner

Charlton Hall is cited as one of several high-status buildings in the southern central part of town that were more like large rural manor houses than town houses. Both Charlton Hall, and its neighbour, Vaughan's Mansion had substantial stone walls forming private enclosures around the residential buildings. (Baker et al 1990)[1]

1308 John de Charlton

In 1308 John de Charlton possessed a mansion in Shrewsbury and obtained the king's license to embattle the same. [2]

John de Charlton was married to the heiress of the property. [3]

1325 License to Embattle

Charlton Hall was the second stone mansion of Shrewsbury. Licence to embattle the hall was granted in 1325. [1]

Drawing of Original

Sir John de Charleton of Apley Castle gained a "license to crenellate" in 1325 to enable him to build, or perhaps enlarge, a very substantial fortified property in Shrewsbury on a site bounded by Market Street, Swan Hill, Shoplatch and St. John's Hill. It consisted of a great chamber facing Shoplatch, shown in this view, a great hall at the rear and a garden surrounded by a crenellated wall. [4]

1445 Grant to Thomas Bromley

In a deed in the exchequer of the corporation dated 1445, Henry Gray, Knight, Earl of Tankerville and Lord of Powis (he was son of Joan de Charlton, the co-heiress of that family) grants to Thomas Bromley, of Salop, merchant, and Agnes his wife,

  • one messuage or dwelling-house called Chorlton Hall,
  • with the buildings, and
  • nine tenements,
  • two cellars,
  • with a garden,
  • and all other lands belonging to the said messuage,
  • lying in the town of Salop, in length between a ceertain street called Scheplache and a parcel of waste ground called Belynde ye Walles on the one part, and in breadth between the land of William Mytton, Esquire, and the land of John Grace, mercer. This deed is witnessed, among others, by Richard Pemburton and Thomas Pemberton. [3]

1470 Nicholas Waringe

In 1470, Twenty-five years after the initial grant, Bromley, in conjunction with John Adams of Pontesbury, who seems to have been a trustee under some feoffment, demises the said premises to Nicholas Warynge of Salop, merchant of the staple of Calais. In this last deed they are thus described:

  • One great hall called Chorlton's Hall
  • one great stone chamber annexted to the hall,
  • one large cellar under the said hall,
  • and one great garden enclosed on either side with stone walls
  • which (to wit the said hall, cellar and garden) lie together in Salop, in the street called Scheplache, extending in length by the king's highway, to that part of the king's highway, leading from the aforesaid street towards the church of St. Chad. [5]

In a deed of 1470 it was described as "One Great Hall called Chorlton's Hall, one great chamber annexed to the Hall, and one great garden enclosed on either side with stone walls." [1]

Beginning with Nicholas, the Waring family were occupants of Charlton Hall into the 1800's. [3]

1600 Sale to William Leighton, Esq. of Stretton

Notwithstanding the earlier deeds, the family of Gray appear to have retained possession of the Charlton Hall. The Gray line terminated in 1551, by the death of the last Lord Powis, who left only a natural son and three natural daughters. To the son Edward Gray he devised all his property, but the settlement was contested by Thomas and George Vernon, claiming to be descended from Elizabeth Gray, great aunt, as they alleged, to the last Lord. In the end, Edward Gray, to obtain quiet possession of the residue of his father's lands, was content to make over certain estates to the claimants, in satisfaction of their pretensions, and in the year 1600 we find him joining with Vernon, in the sale of Charlton Hall (which is then described as being in the tenure of Richard Waring) to William Leighton, Esq. of Stretton. It afterwards became the property of the Waring family, who had so long been its occupiers, and whose arms were till lately carved on the back front towards the George-Inn; and is now (1808) the property of John Scott Waring, Edq, devisee and heir at law of Richard Hill Waring, Esq. [3]

Ruins and Excavations

Status in 1808

Of this ancient mansion there are but few vestiges. The boundary walls inclosed all the space contained between Cross Hill, St. John's Hill, Murivance or Swan Hill, and Shoplache. The house, doubtless, formed one if not two, which may still be traced. The most considerable remnant is a lofty building of red stone, extending in length 100 feet, and in breath 31. On the side next the street, an attempt has been made to give it a modern air, by a plaster front; the other exhibits the original walls of red stone, with some gothic arches blocked up, and various marks of high anqituity. This part of the building contained probably the great chamber, so universally an appurtenance to every stately manstion, which was not only the appropriate place for the receiving of company, but for exhibiting shows and dramatic interludes.... it is not improbable that the ancient use of this portion of Charlton's hall was been occasionally analogous to its modern application -- for it has for some years been converted into a tolerable commodious roomy theatre. [3]

At right angles with this fragment are the ruins of a large building, which was doubtless the hall. On each side is a door-way with a pointed arch, whcih, as in college-halls, made the thorough passage between the screen and the buttery hatch, the gothic door of which still remains at the bottom of the hall....From the flat sweeps of the pointed arches it is conceived thaqt these remains are not earlier than the fifteenth century. The present timber houses which now make part of the premises, though old, are far more modern than the rest, and probably occupy the spot on which the embattled gate-house and the out-offices stood. [3]

1818 Image

Shropshire Archives has an image of the rear of Charlton Hall in 1818. "This image, dating from 1818, is of the rear of the Charlton Hall, a large 14th Century complex of buildings which stood on the corner of Shoplatch and Market Street. John de Charlton of Apley Castle gained a "licence to crenellate" in 1325 which allowed him to built a fortified town house. This shows the main range which fronted Shoplatch, but there was also a large hall at 90 degrees to it to the right of the picture. There would also have been a high, presumably crenellated, wall around the site. [6]

1823 Complex Demolished

The whole complex was demolished between 1823-33. The Theatre Royal was built on the same site. [4]

1892 Excavations: George Hotel

In 1892 excavations for the Borough Police Offices, Swan Hill, revealed large blocks of red sand-stone, doubtless belonging to Charlton's Hall. (Forrest) At SJ 4902 1245 the footings of one of the walls of the George Hotel are of red sandstone. It is 11.0 m. long and varies in height from 0.8 m. to 1.5 m. At SJ 4900 1242 another portion of sandstone walling is incorporated in the wall of a garage. It is 9.0 m. long and varies in height from 2.0 to c.3.0 m. Both portions have been surveyed though neither could be assessed as part of an early dwelling (Field Investigators Comments–F1 JR 13-OCT-60). (PastScape) [1]

Status in 1900

A few fragments of masonry in the rear of the Theatre and the George Hotel are all that remain of the mansion which occupied almost the whole of the area bounded by St. John's Hill, Cross Hill, Swan Hill and Market Street. [1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Gatehouse: The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands. Charlton House is Historic England Monument #68236 and County Historic Sites and Monuments Record 01513. Charlton House, Shrewsbury Accessed 6/21/2019 jhd
  2. Pat. 2. Ed II. Quod Johes de Charleton possit kerneliare mansum fuum in Salop. Calend. rotul. patent. Cited by Rev. Hugh Owen. Some Account of the Ancient and Present State of Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury: P. Sandford, Booksellers, 1808 Charlton Hall Pages beginning with 480. Accessed 6/21/2019 jhd
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Rev. Hugh Owen. Some Account of the Ancient and Present State of Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury: P. Sandford, Booksellers, 1808 Charlton Hall Pages beginning with 480. Dated July 26, 2017. Accessed 6/21/2019 jhd
  4. 4.0 4.1 Shropshire History. Drawing of Original Charlton Hall Accessed 6/21/2019 jhd
  5. Owen notes that "this deed is dated in the 49th year of Henry VI and of his re-adoption of his royal power, the 1st, being that short interval at the close of 1470, when his high-spirited Queen, having effected a coalition with the Duke of Clarence, and the king-making Earl of Warwick, succeeded for a few months in driving from the throne her rival, Edward of York.
  6. Shropshire History 1818 Image Accessed 6/21/2019 jhd

Resources Suggested by Gatehouse: Discovering Shropshire's History


  • Moran, Madge, 2003, Vernacular Buildings of Shropshire (Logaston Press) p. 3, 5, 217-8, 251
  • Salter, Mike, 2001 (2edn), The Castles and Moated Mansions of Shropshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 75
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 476
  • Jackson, M.J.,1988, Castles of Shropshire (Shrewsbury: Shropshire Libraries) p. 55
  • Forrest, H.E.,1911, Old Houses of Shrewsbury p. 35 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 408 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1853, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 2 p. 306 online copy
  • Nightingale, J., 1813, Beauties of England and Wales Vol. 13 p. 153
  • Owen, H.,1808, Some Account of the Ancient and Present State of Shrewsbury p. 480-84

Periodical Articles

  • Davis, Philip, 2010-11, 'Crenellated town houses in Medieval England' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 24 p. 270-91
  • 1949-50, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 53 p. 259
  • 1905, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 5 p. 286

Primary (Medieval documents or transcriptions of such documents - This section is far from complete and the secondary sources should be consulted for full references.)

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1904, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1324-27) Vol. 5 p. 178

Other sources:

  • Theses; 'grey' literature; in-house reports; unpublished works; etc.
  • Baker, N.J, Buteux, S. and Hughes, E.G.,1990, 17 Market St Shrewsbury - An Archaeological Evaluation, p. 2-4

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