– The North China Craton (NCC) is one of the classic examples of decratonization through extensive lithospheric destruction during Mesozoic time. Among the various pulses of magmatism associated with cratonic erosion are the rare mafic intrusions in the Yanshan Belt. Here we investigate the Shangzhuang layered intrusion belonging to this suite, which is characterized by compositional layering with troctolite, noritic gabbro and gabbro/gabbroic anorthosite/gabbrodiorite from the bottom to top. The different lithologies of this intrusion exhibit close field relationships, similar chemical patterns and overall identical Lu–Hf isotopes indicating a co-magmatic nature. The fine-grained gabbros occurring near the margin of the intrusion display U–Pb ages similar to those of the other rocks and are considered to represent the composition of the parent magma, characterized by Fe, Mg and Ti enrichment. The magma was sourced from low-degree partial melting of spinel lherzolite sub-continental lithospheric mantle, which had been enriched by crust–mantle interaction and metasomatic fluids derived from the Mongolian oceanic slab subduction beneath the NCC during Late Palaeozoic time. In addition, limited asthenospheric or deeper-mantle materials were also locally mixed with the enriched mantle as the final source component. Our zircon U–Pb data constrain the emplacement age of this intrusion as c. 128–123 Ma in Early Cretaceous time, and correlates with the regional extensional tectonics between c. 135 and 115 Ma in the eastern and central NCC. Mantle upwelling associated with this event resulted in the thermal and chemical erosion of the lithospheric mantle, and emplacement of the parent magma of this layered intrusion.