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Historic England Research Records

Codnor Castle

Hob Uid: 315722
Location :
Derbyshire
Amber Valley
Aldercar and Langley Mill
Grid Ref : SK4336049980
Summary : Remains of a castle of 13th and 14th century date, with later additions, now ruinous. The moat has been mostly destroyed by ironstone workings, though it may have already been affected by landscaping activity in the 17th century. Part of a formerly three storeyed tower and the walls to the outer court survive.
More information : [SK 4336 4998] Codnor Castle [G.T. (Remains of). (1)

The remains of Codnor Castle lie on the edge of the upland
forming the Erewash valley boundary about three miles east of Ripley.

"In the sixteenth century this stronghold consisted of two large oblong ..... courts, separated by a wall strengthened by four circular towers, nearly equidistant, the gateway between the courts being placed in the centre."

The principal building, of three storeys, seems to have been in
the northern or innermost court. Part of the boundary wall on the east front remains and the southern extremity shows "twenty courses of squared freestone of broad and narrow work (circa 1200) capped by later shale masonry (circa 1330), and is clearly coeval with the circular towers."

The wall between the courts, with the circular towers, was once the south wall of the original fortress. A window above the
basement dates to about 1350 or a little earlier.

Of the south courtyard, a later addition, only the west wall remains. The eastern side is occupied by a farmhouse [SK 44 NW 15]
The principal gateway must have been in the south wall, now
destroyed.

Much of the material has been used in building surrounding farmsteads. The south court is now a garden and the north court has been completely turned over in search of ironstone.

The estates at CODNOR were acquired by HENRY DE GREY before 1208 on marriage to the heiress. He undoubtedly erected the circular towers. John, Lord Grey, probably repaired, enlarged and strengthened the castle, including the c. 1350 window. The GREYS continued in possession of Codnor until 1496 when it passed to the Zouch family, who remained in possession until 1634. A0/59/154/5 (2)

A wide and deep moat is still extant on the east side, and was just as perfect on the north and west until about 50 years ago when ironstone mining began. A0/59/158/2. (3)

The apparent earthworks shown surrounding the castle are the result of ironstone quarrying except for a mutilated fragment of
a moat on the east of the keep, centred at SK 43374999. It is shown accurately on the 25" AM.

The surviving walling of the castle is in very poor condition. The inner faces of the south court are overgrown and almost entirely obscured. The eastern wall shown on the plan of authy. 2 and the O.S. 25" is almost entirely modern built of re-used material.
Re-surveyed at 1/2500. See G.P's A0/59/395/7 & 8. (4)

No change. (5)

(SK 43384984) Castle Farm (NAT). (6)

Codnor Castle, South Court. Additional reference. (7)

Remains of Codner Castle. Mediaeval. Ruins of stone rubble, some parts of considerable height, 30 feet or more, other parts just footings. Formerly Grey and Zouch property. A.M

Castle Farm House. Much rebuilt, it incorporates parts of the castle buildings. Two storeys, originally ashlar, now mainly red brick. Ground floor of front of ashlar. Two stone mullion and transom windows and one mullion window. Brick upper part with five casements. Modern tile roof. (8)

Codnor Castle was built by the Lords Grey of Codnor and passed to the Zouch Family in 1496. It was surrounded by a park of 1500 acres. The lower court lies west and north-west of the present
farmhouse (auths 6,8), which occupies the east side of the court. Masonry dates from the early 13th and early 14th centuries. (9)

SK 434500. Two rectangular courts; four round towers remains, with some part of the wall and a few rectangular projections.
Appears to be a 13th C. castle with a later outer ward. Listed
in surveys (10,11). Scheduled (12). (10-12)

Remains of Codnor Castle. Remains of fortified manor. 13th and 14th century with later alterations. Ruinous at time of re survey.
Grade II. (13)

Damage to the moat at Codnor Castle may have also predated the coal workings: it may have been the result of 17th century landscaping. (14)

Keyhole excavations by Time Team in 2008 detected the probable line of the curtain wall. Sketch plan. (15-6)

Earthwork survey at Codnor Castle. The building remains consist of a substantial but decayed residential block, part of the Upper Court which was originally surrounded by a moat, and the Lower Court to the south. The earliest fabric is probably early 13th century with 14th century additions. The residential block and the Lower Court were probably also 14th century but this is uncertain. Development continued until the early 17th century and by the mid-17th century stone was being removed for building. The survey demonstrated that in the 12th century the moat could have contained water right around the Upper Court and that there were possible medieval garden enclosures to the south-west. The north of the Upper Court was perhaps remodelled in the 14th century and the moat here filled to create gardens. It was probably at about this time that the Lower Court was enclosed; the moat remained but the earlier gardens probably became less significant. To the east the gardens developed into the 17th century, with the creation of a substantial terrace and mount, but these may have been left unfinished. (17)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1938-9
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Derby, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 380
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 12
Source : List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands
Source details : DOE(IAM) Anc Mons Eng 3 1978 27
Page(s) : 27
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 3
Source Number : 13
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE Listed Bldgs Dist of Amber Valley Derby 25 May 1988 1
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 14
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Channel 4 Time Team broadcast 06-JAN-2008.
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 16
Source : The Castle Studies Group Journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 152-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 22, 2008-9
Source Number : 17
Source : Research Department Report Series
Source details : Alexander, M and Millward, J, Codnor Castle, Derbyshire: Earthwork analysis
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 82-2008
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 WCW 29-OCT-59
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 FRH 10-OCT-66
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 6
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10000 1974
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 7
Source : Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details : W Stevenson
Page(s) : 46-59
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2, 1920
Source Number : 8
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : MHLG (Prov List) Heanor UD Derby Feb 1961 2
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 9
Source : Derbyshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 154
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 109
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Archaeological gazeteer [Derbyshire]
Source details :
Page(s) : 10
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1980

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C13/C14
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1200
Monument Type : Castle, Moat, Wall
Evidence : Ruined Building, Destroyed Monument, Structure
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered after C14
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1400
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DR 100
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 79044
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SK 44 NW 10
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 43 SW 17
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1959-10-29
End Date : 1959-10-29
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SK 43 SW 17
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1966-10-10
End Date : 1966-10-10
Associated Activities : Primary, CODNOR CASTLE (TIME TEAM)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CODNOR CASTLE, EARTHWORK ANALYSIS
Activity type : ANALYTICAL EARTHWORK SURVEY
Start Date : 2007-10-01
End Date : 2007-11-01
Associated Activities : Primary, CODNOR CASTLE, CASTLE LANE
Activity type : DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31