Monument details

HER Number:104/1/0
Type of record:Archaeology
Name:Halton Castle: ruined shell keep castle on site of motte & bailey


Grade I listed and a Scheduled Monument. Halton Castle stands on prominent rocky hill overlooking River Mersey. It origins are probably as a motte and bailey built by Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, around 1070 for Nigel,1st Baron of Halton.

It passed to the Lacy family, 13th century Lords of Pontefract and created Dukes of Lancaster in 1311.

Documentary records indicate building work during the 14th and 15th centuries including a gatehouse. A survey of 1476 mentions greater chamber,withdrawing room,chapel,hall,auditors chamber,kitchen,larder and storehouse

The castle continued to be used in post medieval times. It was a prison for recusants (Catholics who refused to attend the Church of England) in 1579.

During the English Civil War it was beseiged and captured by Sir William Brereton in 1643. It suffered extensive damage and was partly dismantled on Cromwell's orders in 1644. By 1727 it was in ruins and in 1738 a courthouse and prison were added. In the 18th Century a folly was built to East of the courthouse. A 19th century walled garden and bowling green were also laid out in the interior. It is now used as a hotel.

Major excavations have revealed a complex of features including a midden and and a settlement outside the castle walls.


Monument Types

  • BAILEY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GATEHOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GREAT HALL (Hall-Room, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOTTE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (?))
  • TOWER ( 2 of, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOWN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Wall-defensive some (1-100), Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
Protected Status:Conservation Area; Scheduled Monument 1015606: Halton Castle: A Ruined Shell Keep Castle On The Site Of An Earlier Motte And Bailey; Listed Building (old) (I) 5/28: Title not entered

Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West & Chester Council - Working in Partnership
Heritage Lottery Fund