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Allington Castle

Hob Uid: 415082
Location :
Kent
Maidstone
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : TQ7521957906
Summary : A square fortified country house with a moat connecting to the River Medway. The first castle on the site is believed to have been a motte and bailey constructed between 1135 and 1154. This was demolished by Henry II, having been erected without royal licence. Subsequently a small unfortified manor house was built on the site. The present structure was erected by Stephen de Penchester between 1279 and 1299, with further alterations and additions in the early 14th century and after 1492. It was forfeited to the crown in 1554 at Sir Thomas Wyatt's rebellion, subsequently becoming two farmhouses. Eventually falling into ruins, it was restored between 1905 and 1929 by Lord Conway and his architects W. D. Caroe and Philip Tilden. The site was sold to the Carmelite Order in 1951 and was home to a community of friars for a number of years, by the early years of the 21st century it was in private ownership. Allington Castle currently comprises a series of buildings ranged around the inside of the courtyards with a curtain wall connecting them and with semi-circular towers facing the moat. In the south west corner is Solomon's Tower which, at four storeys, is taller than the other towers. The restored gatehouse, approached by barbican and stone bridge over the moat, is in the north west corner. The lower portions of the gatehouse date from the 12th century.
More information : [TQ 75205791] Allington Castle [GT] (Restored) [TQ 75265782] Motte [GT] (1)

Allington Castle is a fortified country house with a moat which connects with the Medway. The present building was erected between 1279 and 1299 and altered after 1492, and included buildings of the 12th century. It was thoroughly restored between 1905 and 1929. Two 12th century circular stone dovecots to the east and west of the north wall are said to be the earliest in England. The western one has been converted into an oasthouse. The first castle on the site was an early Norman moated mound to the south. [See plan AO/LP/63/94]. (2)

Above description correct. The castle, which is a Retreat, the property of the Carmelite Fathers, is in excellent condition. The western dovecot has been converted into a private residence. The other is ruinous, but is at present under repair. The motte is fragmentary and mutilated. See GPs, AO/64/118/2-5. Published 1/1250 survey revised. (3)

Allington Castle. The 1st castle on the site was a moated mound built by William de Warenne. In the 12th century further building took place to the north of this, but this castle was "overthrown" in 1174, and a small manor house built on the site. Portions of both these constructions were incorporated in the subsequent Castle. The present building was erected by Stephen de Penchester, or Penshurst, between 1279 and 1299 and continued by his son-in-law and successor Sir Henry de Cobham in the early 14th century. It was altered by Sir Henry Wyatt after 1492. It was forfeited to the Crown in 1554 at Sir Thomas Wyatt's rebellion. It subsequently became 2 farm houses and eventually fell into ruins, from which is was rescued by Lord Conway who, with his architect W D Caroe, thoroughly restored the Castle between 1905 and 1929. It is a square fortified country house consisting of buildings ranged round the inside of the courtyard with a curtain wall connecting them and semi-circular towers facing the moat which connects with the Medway. In the south-west corner is Soloman's Tower of 4 storeys, which is larger than the other towers. In the north-west corner is the gatehouse with restored machicolation and battlements, and iron-studded medieval double doors, approached by a barbican and stone bridge over the moat. The lower portions of the Gatehouse date from the 12th century manor house. The wing which divides the courtyard in half was built by Sir Henry Wyatt and contained a long gallery, which was probably one of the 1st long galleries in England to be constructed. This was later destroyed but was restored by Lord Conway. Sir Henry Wyatt added the timber-framed buildings in the south-east corner of the Castle which were the kitchen and offices. There are of 2 storeys and attic, the ground and 1st floors being of stone with 2 timbered gables above, rendered and overhanging on bressumers with moulded bargeboards and pendants and 1gabled dormer. Casement windows with small square leaded panes. Sir Henry Wyatt also altered most of the windows of the castle. His son Sir Thomas Wyatt, the poet, was born here in 1503. The latter's son, Sir Thomas Wyatt, also lived here till his insurrection in 1554. Henry VII visited the Castle in Sir Henry Wyatt's time; Henry VIII in 1527, 1530 and 1536; also Cardinal Wolsey in 1527 and Catherine Parr in 1544. (4)

This restored and much refashioned building, in a very fine condition, is occupied by a community of Friars. The west dovecote is still in use as a private dwelling whilst the east dovecote which is roofless and now stands to under half its original height has many nesting boxes in situ. The feature shown on the 1905 map (2) as "the remains of early-Norman moated mound" lies at TQ 75265782. It is now traceable as a flat platform approximately 50.0m by upto 30m wide which stands out a little above the surrounding sloping ground and is covered by young trees and bushes. Its west side is now overlain by a car park, the south side disfigured by a boundary hedge and the east side almost completely cut away to extend a boat dock for the adjacent marina. The north side is skirted by the castle moat which has presumably been re-excavated since only its course was depicted on the 1905 map. Within the southern (or inner) courtyard is an unobtrusive patch of concrete set at ground level. It was surveyed by ASP (B) on the OS revision document and described by him there thus :- "Foundations of semi-circular tower and adjoining rooms, probably part of keep of early 12th century adulterine castle, destroyed 1174-5, now marked out in concrete". ASPs informant on these details is not known and until some evidence to support the identification is forthcoming the site is best omitted from the OS plan. OS 1:1250 plan revised (earthworks of motte only). (5)

NB the dovecotes have now been recorded separately. See associated monument records. See archive for more detailed written and photographic survey of the castle.

Listed by Cathcart King. (6)

Allington Castle is no longer in the hands of the friars but is owned and lived in by Sir Robert Worcester. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:1250 1956
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Archaeologia Cantiana : being contributions to the history and archaeology of Kent
Source details : Conway, WM. Allington Castle.
Page(s) : 337-62
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 28, 1909
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ASP 06-MAR-64
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 4
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Dist of Maidstone Area Kent 2 8 74 16-17
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 MJF 13-AUG-86
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Allington Castle Guide 1983
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 228
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Mr. T. Cook, 02-NOV-2007, PastScape website feedback, correspondence by email.
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Castle built 1135-1154
Monument End Date : 1154
Monument Start Date : 1135
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Between 1154 and 1279
Monument End Date : 1279
Monument Start Date : 1154
Monument Type : Manor House, Architectural Fragment, Gatehouse
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Architectural Component, Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Destroyed during reign of Henry II
Monument End Date : 1189
Monument Start Date : 1154
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built 1279-1299
Monument End Date : 1299
Monument Start Date : 1279
Monument Type : Castle, Courtyard, Curtain Wall, Bridge, Gatehouse, Moat
Evidence : Extant Building, Structure, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Added to early C14
Monument End Date : 1332
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered after 1492
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1492
Monument Type : Fortified Manor House, Timber Framed Building, Kitchen, Service Wing
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Became farmhouses after 1554
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1554
Monument Type : Farmhouse, Gatehouse, Barn
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Restored 1905 to 1929
Monument End Date : 1929
Monument Start Date : 1905
Monument Type : Country House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : From 1951
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1951
Monument Type : Carmelite Nunnery, Carmelite Friary
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Period : Medieval
Component Monument Type : Fortified Manor House, Timber Framed Building, Kitchen, Service Wing
Object Type :
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 86319
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 173269
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 75 NE 21
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1329113
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1329117
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1329122
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1329117
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1329122
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TQ 75 NE 20
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1964-03-04
End Date : 1964-03-04
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TQ 75 NE 20
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1964-03-06
End Date : 1964-03-06
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: OS SWEEPS
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TQ 75 NE 20
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1986-08-13
End Date : 1986-08-13
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, ALLINGTON CASTLE GROUNDS
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31