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Historic England Research Records

Rockingham Castle

Hob Uid: 346188
Location :
Northamptonshire
Corby
Rockingham
Grid Ref : SP8668091330
Summary : Castle founded by William the Conqueror as a motte and bailey in 1066, (SP89SE34), rebuilt during the reign of Edward I as a residence and fortified in 1323. The castle started to fall into disrepair in 1485 and was subsequently rebuilt in the 16th century. During the Civil War the castle was fortified with a complex of earthworks and gun emplacements. The building was remodelled in 1660 and in the mid 19th century to designs by A Salvin. It is built of limestone ashlar with a Collyweston slate roof. Scheduled.
More information : [SP 86689133] ROCKINGHAM CASTLE [G.T.] (1)

Associated earthworks surveyed.
GPs AO/61/140/3-8. (2)

Rockingham Castle is said to have been founded by William the Conqueror in 1066. It was then used by successive monarchs as a residence and retreat. After a siege in 1220 the castle was damaged but was rebuilt by Edward I as a residence. In 1323 Edward II fortified the castle. Rockingham continued in use as a royal residence until around 1485 when it started to fall into disrepair, the usurper Henry VII prefering a lodge in the park. From 1530 the castle was rebuilt by Edward Watson and his sons, being eventually purchased from the crown in 1619.

In 1643 the castle was siezed by parliamentry forces in a suprise attack. It was then fortified with an idiosyncratic set of earthworks and gun emplacements. In 1646 the keep was thrown down and parliament's troops left.

The castle was restored to the Watson family, now with the title Lord Rockingham at the Restoration. They completed the rebuilding of the domestic parts of the castle. The castle has since passed through various branches of the family to the present day. Charles Dickens wrote part of `Bleak House' while staying at the castle. (2)

Additional reference. (3)

Castle, now country house. C11 castle founded by William the Conqueror. Parts of gatehouse may be of this date but mainly of 1275-80, also section of wall to south and structure of great hall. Range to east of great hall 1535 and datestone 1553, range to west of great hall C16 remodelled 1660 and mid C19, by A. Salvin. Laundry to south and Walkers house to north of gatehouse 1650.
Limestone ashlar and squared coursed limestone and ironstone with Colleyweston slate roof.

Originally motte and bailey with shell keep now an irregular H-shape layout with outer bailey to the north and a courtyard to the south. Mainly 2 storeys with attics. Gatehouse to east of outer building is squared coursed ironstone with pair of semicircular limestone ashlar towers with 2-centred arch between cross slits in towers, chamfered plinth, string courses and castellated parapets. C13 curtain wall attached to left has C17 gable to right and square turret to left with blocked 4-centred arch to first floor. Listed Grade I. (4)

Additional reference. (5)

Listed by Cathcart King. (6)

Largely rebuild in the reign of Edward I with new buildings, particularly royal apartments in the bailey, which was rebuilt in stone along with the keep. From 1341 until 1483 it was usually granted as a dower house to the Queen. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1958
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 FRH 17-AUG-1961
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in England
Source details : Northamptonshire
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Part 30
Source Number : 4
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : East Northamptonshire (Jan 1988)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1753
Source Number : 5
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) : 317
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 6
Source : Ordnance Survey guide to castles in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 138
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages
Source details :
Page(s) : 815-8
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Founded 1066
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Castle, Gatehouse, Shell Keep
Evidence : Extant Building, Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt in reign of Edward I
Monument End Date : 1307
Monument Start Date : 1272
Monument Type : Castle, Gatehouse, Great Hall, Curtain Wall
Evidence : Extant Building, Structure
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Fortified in 1323
Monument End Date : 1323
Monument Start Date : 1323
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt C16
Monument End Date : 1599
Monument Start Date : 1500
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt in C16
Monument End Date : 1599
Monument Start Date : 1500
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Fortified Civil War
Monument End Date : 1649
Monument Start Date : 1642
Monument Type : Castle, Gun Emplacement
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Remodelled in 1660
Monument End Date : 1660
Monument Start Date : 1660
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Remodelled in the mid C19
Monument End Date : 1866
Monument Start Date : 1833
Monument Type : Country House
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 61889
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 229925
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 229926
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 229927
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 229928
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 229929
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 89 SE 13
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 346209
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 346208
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 346216
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ROCKINGHAM CASTLE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ROCKINGHAM PARK
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, INVESTIGATION BY RCHME/EH ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-11-14
End Date : 1995-11-14
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT ROCKINGHAM CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31