The site of Weoley Castle is
unique and has been recognised
as being of national importance.
Although moated sites are relatively
common across Birmingham no other
was constructed on the same scale
as Weoley, and no other example
survives so well on the ground
Despite its name Weoley
Castle was not a castle, but
a very important, high status
fortified manor house, akin to
For more information on the historical
background choose a year from
the list below.
The origins of Weoley probably
lie in the Saxon period. Indeed,
the name ‘Weoley’ derives
from the Anglo Saxon ‘weg-hoh-leah’ meaning ‘a
woodland clearing near a road along
a ridge’. Records show that
Alwold was the Saxon Thegn (Earl)
that held the manor of Northfield
prior to 1066.
For most of the medieval period Weoley Castle was the manorial centre for the
manor of Northfield-Weoley, and included the sub manors of Selly and Middleton.
It was one of the second residences of the important Earls of Dudley.
For this reason we should not
view the site on the ground in
complete isolation. The castle
itself was not simply the domestic
residence of the Earl, it was also
the economic centre for a large
estate that managed tenants, mills,
Deer parks, levied troops for the
Crown, as well as being the judicial
centre for the area where assize
held. It was for this reason that
the castle complex needed such
a large range of buildings; many
of which were not simply associated
with the day to day running of
a domestic medieval household.
At the time of the Domesday survey
(in 1086) Weoley formed part of
the estates of William FitzAnsculf.
FitzAnsculf was an important Norman
(French) Knight whose barony was
centred on Dudley.