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Suffix 33293
Date assigned 09 May 2001
Date last amended


The monument is located 300m to the south west of Shelley parish church and includes a moated site and remains of demolished parts of Shelley Hall. The moated site, which is thought to be contemporary with the present Shelley Hall, appears to have been built as a garden feature for Sir Philip Tilney in the early 16th century. Sir Philip's will of 1532 mentions `his mansion place...with all the gardeynes, orchards, pondes...also the parke with... the deer', and a 1533 survey commissioned by Sir Philip in 1519 refers to the manor with a garden on the east side built with stews and ponds and moated on every side and with a dovehouse to the south of the stews and ponds. The moated site is situated approximately 32m to the east of the present Shelley Hall and includes a roughly square island, measuring an average of 50m across. A geophysical survey on the island revealed the outline of the buried remains of a formal garden. It identified a series of linear paths with a small square structure towards the centre of the island, which may represent the dovecote mentioned in the earlier surveys. The island is surrounded by a partly waterfilled moat which measures up to 14m wide and 3m deep. The outer edge of the west arm of the moat is revetted in places with brick, and an aerial photograph taken in 1953 suggests that at one time this revetting may have extended around both the inner and outer edges of all four sides of the moat. Access to the island is via the brick bridge across the west arm of the moat. The bridge is aligned with an impressive Tudor doorway, in the east face of what was originally a gatehouse, indicating that the house and moat may have been linked as part of the original builder's plan. Alternatively, the moated garden site may represent the modification of an earlier medieval site, perhaps the medieval manor of Shelley, which would have predated the 1519 Shelley Hall. The medieval lords of Shelley manor were largely non-resident, but it is likely that there would have been a manor house and perhaps this stood on the moated site. The structural remains revealed through geophysical survey may therefore relate to an earlier house. It is thought that Shelley Hall was originally much larger than it is today. The part which survives as a standing building, and which is not included in the scheduling, comprises a range aligned north-south, with a cross wing at the southern end and the gatehouse projecting westwards from the north west corner. The east face of the gatehouse to the south of the doorway is partly obscured by a 19th century addition to the house. There is evidence that the gatehouse was originally wider (the north wall is not original), within a range which extended further to the north, and that it opened centrally onto a courtyard to the east. The foundations of the demolished parts of the building will survive as buried features; these are marked in part by slight earthworks in the adjacent ground surface and are included in the scheduling. Evidence for a contemporary range along the south side of the courtyard is provided by a blocked doorway in the east wall of the Hall, together with a stub of walling which projects from the same east wall, and another section of wall 19m to the east of this and on the same alignment, incorporating part of a polygonal buttress identical to buttresses on the east and west faces of the surviving building. These last two elements survive in what is now a garden wall and are thought to represent the remains of a two storey range interpreted as an alley linking a kitchen in the west range to a hall range along the east side of the courtyard, opposite the moat. It is probable that there was a corresponding range along the north side of the courtyard as well. This section of wall and the associated remains are included in the scheduling. After the death of Sir Philip Tilney in 1533 the manor remained in the Tilney family until about 1627. The Tilneys were cousins of Queen Elizabeth I, and the Queen paid a visit to Shelley Hall on 11th August 1561. In 1586 Charles Tilney, great great grandson to Sir Philip, was executed for his involvement in the Babington conspiracy, whose aim was to kill Queen Elizabeth and replace her with Mary Queen of Scots. In 1999 work was carried out on the moated site to reproduce a 16th century garden on the island. The work, which included the construction of raised ponds on the east side of the island, was non-invasive and the underlying archaeological layers remain undisturbed. All fences, modern path surfaces and raised beds are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included. Also excluded from the scheduling is a later section of garden wall, approximately 4.75m in length, which is connected to the eastern end of the earlier 16th and 17th century garden wall. The remains of any earlier foundations beneath the later wall are included in the scheduling.

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Grid reference Centred TM 0286 3822 (130m by 84m)
Map sheet TM03NW

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Record last edited

Dec 20 2019 2:58PM

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