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Historic England Research Records

Tonbridge Castle

Hob Uid: 409297
Location :
Kent
Tonbridge and Malling
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : TQ5895046550
Summary : Motte and bailey castle, first mentioned in 1080. Motte surmounted by the remains of a shell keep probably of 11th century date. Gatehouse of circa 1300 and remains of the bailey wall of circa 1080 are also visible. The remains are incorporated into a Municipal Public Park. Scheduled.
More information : TQ 8595 4655: Castle [NR] (remains of) (1)

Tonbridge Castle consists of a motte, about 60 feet high, lying in the angle formed by the Medway on the south and a tributary stream on the west, an inner bailey on the south east and a second court to the north.

The motte is surmounted by the remains of a shell keep, probably 11th century refaced in the late 12th century. The gatehouse of circa 1300 with parts of the circa 1180 bailey wall remain. The chapel, mentioned in 1322, lay to the east of the gatehouse. The castle is first mentioned in 1088. (2-5)

Tonbridge Castle Motte, a fine example, is in excellent condition apart from superficial remodelling for paths and ornamental gardens. The gatehouse is also in excellent condition having been lately renovated. Fragments of the shell keep and curtain wall are in fair to good condition.

The remains are incorporated into a Municipal Public Park and are as described above. Published survey (1:1250, 1959) correct. (6)

Tonbridge Castle, Grade I. The property and offices of Tonbridge Urban District Council. (For full description see list.) (7)

Tonbridge Castle. Full architectural description. (8-9)

Tonbridge Castle is one of the oldest and most remarkable of those fortresses which preceded the Norman Conquest. The manor and castle of Tonbridge seem to have been attached to the See of Canterbury long before the Conquest. It is a tradition that soon after the Battle of Hastings, the archbishop was induced to surrender Tonbridge to Richard Fitz Gislebert, in exchange for his Norman lordship of Brionne. (10-11)

Tonbridge Castle. An interesting example of the mount and bailey type, the work of Richard of Clare, temp William I. (12)

TQ 589 466: Tonbridge. Motte and bailey, with a slight outer bailey adjoining both. Walled in stone, with a "shell-keep" and a great Edwardian keep-gatehouse, the two probably connected to form a composite keep. First mentioned in 1088 when taken by William II. Taken 1215, 1264. Little of the structure remains but the general plan can be made out. (13)

Tonbridge Castle and its Lords. (14)

Additional bibliography. (15)

Scheduled monument no 12868 (16)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1961
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Kent, volume one
Source details : 1908 plan (I C Gould)
Page(s) : 424-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 11
Source : Archaeology
Source details : 1782 plan (E King)
Page(s) : 269-290
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6
Source Number : 12
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : 1905
Page(s) : 188
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 62
Source Number : 13
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details : 1983 (D J Cathcart King)
Page(s) : 235
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 14
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : 1886 illus (J F Wadmore)
Page(s) : Dec-57
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 16
Source Number : 15
Source : A history of Kent
Source details : 1778-99 (E Hasted)
Page(s) : 322-32
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 16
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : English Heritage SAMs 15-OCT-1991
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Early Norman Castle 1912 plan (E S Armitage)
Page(s) : 220
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Journal of the British Archaeological Association
Source details : W D Simpson
Page(s) : 63-72
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 5, 1940
Source Number : 5
Source : The castles of Great Britain
Source details : 1953 plan (S Toy)
Page(s) : 58-9, 243-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ASP 28-JAN-1963
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Dist of Tonbridge UD Kent Jan 1972 1
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : The Buildings of England
Source details : West Kent and the Weald 1980 illus (J Newman)
Page(s) : 570-1
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Norman castles in Britain
Source details : 1973 (D F Renn)
Page(s) : 324
Figs. : 69
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : 1879
Page(s) : 378-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 36

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Early Medieval
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 410
Monument Type : Fort
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 1310
Monument Start Date : 1080
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey, Shell Keep, Gatehouse, Castle
Evidence : Earthwork, Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 12868
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 178646
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 54 NE 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, TONBRIDGE CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1911-01-01
End Date : 1915-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TONBRIDGE CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1938-01-01
End Date : 1938-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TONBRIDGE CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1954-01-01
End Date : 1956-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TQ 54 NE 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1963-01-28
End Date : 1963-01-28
Associated Activities : Primary, TONBRIDGE CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT TONBRIDGE CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT TONBRIDGE CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT TONBRIDGE CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 13 EAST STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2003-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT TONBRIDGE CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31