History

 

Caldwall Tower, which is also known as Caldwell Tower, was built on the site of an earlier castle or fortified manor house. The origins of the settlement are not known but it is believed to be the manor of Sudwael which is listed in Domesday Book (1086). However, the first reference to Caldwall dates from 1249 and thereafter little is known about the site until 1335 when it was in the hands of Sir Hugh Cokesey. It was he who upgraded the site into a small castle which was in existence no later than 1347. The fortification was well sited in a strong defensive position adjacent to a bend in the River Stour which provided protection on the east and north sides. The low-lying nature of the land probably meant the landward approaches were probably marshland. The castle took the form of a courtyard castle with towers on each corner with its layout being noted as similar to that of Stokesay Castle. Caldwall remained in the hands of the Cokesays until 1498 when it passed to the Wyntour family.

 

Caldwall Tower itself dates from the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century and was a partial rebuild from whatever structure originally stood in its place. The three storey tower was built of red sandstone and consisted of a vaulted ground which was only accessible through an external door, a vaulted first floor and chamber above. In 1589 the castle was sold by the Wyntour family, who sixteen years later would be embroiled in the Gunpowder Plot, to Francis Clare.

 

The Clare family held Caldwall throughout the seventeenth century and rose in prominence with Sir Ralph Clare becoming a notable Royalist whose actions included participation in the Battle of Worcester (1651). Although exiled, the family were able to reclaim their estates after the Restoration of the monarchy. Around 1690 they built a three-storey brick built building connected to the tower on the north-west side.

 

Caldwall passed to the Jeffrey family in 1777 and in the nineteenth century was acquired by George Turton. Upon his death in 1897 the estate was procured by the Corporation of Kidderminster who used it for a variety of functions over the next hundred years, However, the seventeenth century house fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1961 leaving Caldwall Tower as a standalone entity. This was sold back into private ownership in 1990 and it remains a domestic residence to this day.

 

Bibliography

 

British Broadcasting Corporation (2008). Place Stories: Caldwall Tower. British Broadcasting Corporation. London

Chandler, J (1993). John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England. Sutton Publishing.

Dalwood, H and Bryant, V (2005). The Central Marches Historic Towns Survey.

Douglas, D.C and Rothwell, H (ed) (1975). English Historical Documents Vol 3 (1189-1327). Routledge, London.

Emery, A (1996). Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Historic England (2015). Caldwall Hall, List Entry 1179037. Historic England, London.

King, C.D.J (1983). Castellarium anglicanum: an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands.  Kraus International Publications.

Williams, A and Martin, G.H (2003). Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. Viking, London.

What's There?

Caldwall Tower (sometimes called Caldwell Tower) is the sole surviving component of Caldwall Castle. It is a private residence with no public access but the exterior can be clearly seen from the road.

Caldwall Tower. The tower is the sole surviving section of Caldwall Castle.

Cokesey Coat of Arms.

CALDWALL TOWER

Caldwall Tower is the sole surviving section of a small castle which was built by the Cokesay family in the fourteenth century. The tower was later heavily modified and around 1690 it was incorporated into a new house. This was demolished in the mid-twentieth century leaving the tower as a standalone entity.

Getting There

Caldwall Tower is found adjacent to the Fire Station on Castle Road in Kidderminster. There is a (pay and display) car park nearby.

Car Parking Option

Castle Road, DY10 1AQ

52.383438N 2.249149W

Caldwall Tower

Castle Road, DY11 6TH

52.383774N 2.249936W