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Historic England Research Records

Woodsford Castle

Hob Uid: 454849
Location :
Dorset
Woodsford
Grid Ref : SY7582090370
Summary : Surviving range of a 14th century fortified manor house, considerably altered subsequently. Built of roughly coursed ashlar with thatched roofs. Originally a first floor hall, but altered and extended in the 17th century.
More information : (SY 7582 9037) Woodsford Castle (NR). (1)

Woodsford Castle. The manor of West Woodsford was held from the 11th to early 14th century by the Belet family but it was to William de Whitefield that a licence to crenellate the manor house was granted in 1335 (a). The present house was is a long rectangular building, now three storeys high, of coursed squared rubble dating mainly from the 14th century (see plan); this portion originally formed the eastern side of a courtyard of which the north, south and west ranges have been demolished, leaving no traces above ground level. Hutchins, however, described 'inequalities of the soil' which on the north side were 'still distinct enough to show the outlines of a square tower at the outer angle'. The present building originally had a projecting tower at each corner and in the middle of the east side, but only that on the north east now survives. Surviving corbels on the east and north walls suggest that the castle must originally have had an overhanging and perhaps machiolated parapet. The upper parts of the walls have been largely rebuilt and the parapet has entirely disappeared; the present thatched roof probably dates from the late 17th century as does the wing on the north west corner. Coker, circa 1630, described the castle as 'almost ruinated', (1) probably the result of a siege by High Stafford in 1460. according to Moule. (2-3)

Woodsford Castle (named confirmed (c)) as described above. See ground photograph. (4)

Woodsford Castle; Grade 1. (5)

Woodford Castle. Grade I. (6-7)

The site was surveyed by staff of RCHME during 1991 following a request by the Landmark Trust. The house and its present day gardens lie on a platform 0.45ha in area, defined on three sides by a scarp 0.5-1m high. The area to the west of the house contains traces of low mounds, possibly an enclosure. The south and north wings of the original castle are visible as a low spread bank. Other landscaping features are visible to the west, and to the east of the house small scarps and hollows are visible probably the result of recent disturbance.
For further information see archive report (8).

Listed by Cathcart King. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 2
Source : An inventory of historical monuments in the County of Dorset. Volume two : south-east [in three parts]
Source details :
Page(s) : 397-400
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Source Number : 2b
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Dorset : volume two
Source details : Hutchins Hist of Dorset 3rd Edn 1 1863
Page(s) : 450
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Source : Woodsford Castle phototheodolite survey
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Source : Woodsford Castle/ink survey
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Source : Woodsford Castle
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Source : Woodsford Castle/pencil survey
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Source Number : 3
Source : Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 161-166
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Vol(s) : 20, 1899
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JGB 04-DEC-80
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Source Number : 4c
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Name Board
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Source Number : 5
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Dorchester Rural District Oct 1951
Page(s) : 73
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Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) West Dorset District Mar-87
Page(s) : 127
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Source Number : 7
Source : Dorset
Source details :
Page(s) : 494
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Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : RCHME Field Investigation JAN-1990 HR Riley DJ Field D McOmish
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Source Number : 9
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 129
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built C14
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Fortified Manor House, Courtyard House, Domestic Chapel, Undercroft, First Floor Hall House
Evidence : Extant Building, Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Altered C17
Monument End Date : 1699
Monument Start Date : 1600
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 106403
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 82852
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SY 79 SE 11
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SY 79 SE 9
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1980-12-04
End Date : 1980-12-04
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SY 79 SE 11
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-01-01