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Leybourne Castle

Hob Uid: 412530
Location :
Kent
Tonbridge and Malling
Leybourne
Grid Ref : TQ6885058910
Summary : The ruins of Leybourne Castle consisting of the remnants of a gatehouse and part of a round angle tower dating from the late 13th century. The gatehouse has been partly incorporated into a house of 16th century date which was rebuilt in the 1931. The shell of a chapel remains but it has been modernised and re-roofed and few original features survive. Scheduled.
More information : [TQ 6885 5891] Leybourne Castle on site of Leybourne Castle [NR]Moat [NR] (1)

Leybourne - a minor castle erected temp. Richard I. A great part of the walls may be Norman but it is generally of Henry III. A ruined,
machicolated gateway is perhaps Edward III and has two drum towers. The Hall has vanished but one of the ranges which remains seems to have lain next to it and contained apartments. The remains of the chapel are a short distance to the north and it had an arched porch. A dwelling-house was erected in the 16th century which was converted into a farmhouse during the past century. [Descent of manor given from Domesday to date of writing]. (2)

The gateway of Leybourne Castle, of about 1300, has a [water] shoot, the stone work of which is intact ... the slot resembling that of a letter box, measures 1ft 7.5ins by 2ins. On the inside it opens funnel-shaped in the sill of the window about the slot. There are
indications that it was lined with lead. (3)

....the ....gatehouse ....of the castle of Leybourne ... shows a
bulge ...containing latrines. (4)

Additional references. (5,6)

Rebuilt as a modern house, January 1931, and very well done. (7)

Leybourne Castle (name confirmed by owner) is a modern house built in 16th century style incorporating the remains of the earlier castle. Of the original castle little now remains except the gatehouse, the chapel and a fragment of a wall-tower, all contained within a small, near circular bailey and surrounded by a (probably dry) moat, the east quadrant of which has been destroyed. The gatehouse, partly incorporated in the modern house comprises a gateway flanked by two drum towers intact to first floor level, which retain a number of original features including arrow-loops, portcullis grooves, the water-shoot referred to by Toy and an old well in the east drum tower.. (see GPs AO/59/56/8 - from south west and 59/57/1 and 2 from north east and north west).
The shell of the chapel remains but it has been modernised and re-roofed and few original features survive.
(See GP AO/59/57/3 from north east).
A fragment only of the (?SE) wall-tower is now standing to approx
first-floor level including a window: it is probably contemporary
with the gatehouse (ie. 1300) (See GP AO/59/57/4 - from west).
A 25" survey has been carried out. (8)

Checked and correct. (9)

Leybourne Castle. Grade II*. Close to the church are the remains of a castle of Norman foundation. The chief remnant is the gateway built during the reign of Edward III. [For full description see list]. (10)

Leybourne Castle. From the road one sees only the Walter Godfrey's sophisticated essay of 1930 in a free Cotswold vernacular. Why he chose this far from obvious style is explained on the north side, by the lower half of a fortified stone gatehouse. Two broad semi-circular turrets and a triple-chambered depressed arch between them, arrow-slits in the turrets and widish square windows above. Portcullis groove and the beginning of an upper arch over the entrance. The entrance passage had a rib vault. Internally evidence of upper rooms and a vaulted garderobe in the round-ended addition to the right turret. No securely dateable feature. Would the early 14th century fit best? Part of a round turret stands detached from the south end of the house. The outbuilding to the west of it has medieval walls. The enraving in Harris's History of Kent, 1719, suggests that these fragments belonged to a not quite regular rectangle of curtain walls. But old drawings show a confused medieval building on the site of the present house, with one trefoiled window. (11)

Leybourne Castle - full description. (12)

TQ 688 589 Leybourne Castle. Listed as a moated site in the County checklists for Kent 1977 and 1979. (13-14)

TQ 688589. Leybourne Castle (uninhabited parts) scheduled, county number 35. (15)

Listed by Cathcart King. (16)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1936
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Source Number : 2
Source : CASTLES OF ENGLAND
Source details :
Page(s) : 29
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Source Number : 11
Source : West Kent and the Weald
Source details :
Page(s) : 380
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Source Number : 12
Source : Medieval military architecture in England. Volume 2
Source details :
Page(s) : 188-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 13
Source : Moated Sites Research Group report
Source details :
Page(s) : 47
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6
Source Number : 14
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : 1977(T Tatton-Brown)
Page(s) : 22
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 93
Source Number : 15
Source : Ancient Monuments Records Manual and county sites and monuments records
Source details : 1978
Page(s) : 112
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 32
Source Number : 16
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 233
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Source Number : 3
Source : The castles of Great Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 240
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Source Number : 4
Source : The English castle
Source details :
Page(s) : 92
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Source Number : 5
Source : Medieval military architecture in England. Volume 2
Source details :
Page(s) : 188
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Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 6
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Kent, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 481
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Source Number : 7
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : Rec 6" (Anon undated)
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Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 AC 03-AUG-59
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Source Number : 9
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 FGA 19-FEB-64
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Source Number : 10
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : MHLG Malling RD Kent May 1950 56
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built Late C13
Monument End Date : 1299
Monument Start Date : 1267
Monument Type : Castle, Gatehouse, Moat, Angle Tower
Evidence : Ruined Building, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Abandoned 1397
Monument End Date : 1397
Monument Start Date : 1397
Monument Type : Castle, Gatehouse, Angle Tower, Domestic Chapel
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Rebuilt 1931
Monument End Date : 1931
Monument Start Date : 1931
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : KE 35
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 23023
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 179376
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 65 NE 19
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TQ 65 NE 19
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1959-08-03
End Date : 1959-08-03
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TQ 65 NE 19
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1964-02-19
End Date : 1964-02-19
Associated Activities : Primary, LEYBOURNE CASTLE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LEYBOURNE CASTLE, WEST MALLING
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE CHAPEL, LEYBOURNE CASTLE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31