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Historic England Research Records

Verdley Castle

Hob Uid: 249807
Location :
West Sussex
Chichester
Fernhurst
Grid Ref : SU9035025790
Summary : Earthworks and masonry remains of a probable 13th century hunting lodge, ruined in the 16th century. The topography of the site means that it could not have been moated, but the thickness of the walls suggest that the building may have been fortified.
More information : [SU 9036 2581] Verdley Castle [G.T.] (Site of) [T.I.] (1)

Verdley Castle was possibly once a 13th century hunting tower and became ruined in the 16th century. Remains possibly of the keep existed in the 19th century partly surrounded by a moat. The foundations were dug out about 60 years ago. (2-4)

Plan (copy attached) (5)

Foundations measure 68' by 33', the walls are 6' thick without buttresses. The enclosing swampy ground suggests a former moat. (6)

The site of the building, marked by humus-covered mounds of rubble and random blocks of sandstone, is at SU 90352579, upon a small sand plateau on the lower northern slope of Henley Hill. A small stream flows either side giving marshy ground below the site. Above on the SW side are steeper wooded slopes.

The ground is so contoured that the site could never have been moated. Site resurveyed at 1:2500 (7)

Listed as a possible castle by Cathcart King. (8)

The site lies within a coniferous plantation and is mainly under mature trees. There are no obvious, visible remains of a building or building platform. Recent forestry activities, including the removal of young birch trees growing around the conifers, has disturbed the ground quite heavily in places, as has animal burrowing (possibly badgers). Scattered fragments of red brick and greenish-grey, West Country slate found in the disturbed top soil provide some evidence of a former building, although it should be noted that records suggest the medieval building was stone-built.
Scheduling is not recommended. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1961
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Parks and Forests of Sussex 1885,p. 210 (W.S. Ellis)
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Castles of England, Vol. 1 1897, p.89 (J.D. Mackenzie)
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Source Number : 4
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Sussex, volume four : the Rape of Chichester
Source details :
Page(s) : 55
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Source Number : 4a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Fernhurst, 1934, p.22 (A.M. Tudor)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Sussex County Magazine
Source details : Sussex County Magazine 8 338
Page(s) : 338
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Vol(s) : 8
Source Number : 6
Source : Sussex archaeological collections : relating to the history and antiquities of the counties of East and West Sussex
Source details : Plan & elevations
Page(s) : 265
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Vol(s) : 12, 1860
Source Number : 7
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 474
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Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ASP 02-JUN-70
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Source Number : 9
Source : English Heritage Alternative Action Report
Source details : MPPA: Ros Parker. Site Visit: 3/Jun/1996.
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C13
Monument End Date : 1299
Monument Start Date : 1200
Monument Type : Hunting Lodge, Fortified House
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Ruined by 1600
Monument End Date : 1600
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Hunting Lodge, Fortified House
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (West Sussex)
External Cross Reference Number : 1792
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 92 NW 3
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 92 NW 3
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1970-06-02
End Date : 1970-06-02