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HER Number:MDV14313
Name:Stone keep, Lydford Castle

Summary

Stone keep, Lydford castle. Three main periods, the first of which was a free standing stone building of two or more storeys built in the late 12th century. In the late 13th century, two storeys were added to the original ground floor walls. Used as prison accommodation, with different standards of comfort reflected by variations in the room sizes and amenities. The third phase was 18th century refurbishment.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 509 847
Map Sheet:SX58SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishLydford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX58SW/8/1
  • Old SAM County Ref: 392

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • KEEP (Early Medieval to XVIII - 1066 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Cambridge University, CUC/K, 17-x141, 147-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350343.


Lady Radford, 1930, Notes on the Tinners of Devon and Their Laws, 230,233,239,242 (Article in Serial). SDV350136.

(Interim in Medieval Archaeology 3, suggests lowest storey of castle filled in, in 17th/18th century). Prison at Lydford used to imprison those who broke the stannery laws.


Cambridge University, 1950, CUC/FL, 20-22 (Aerial Photograph). SDV135873.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX58SW2 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV230713.


Wilson, D. M. + Hurst, D. G., 1958, Interim Report, 195 (Article in Serial). SDV230717.


Wilson, D. M. + Hurst, D. G., 1959, Interim Report, 307 (Article in Serial). SDV230716.


Cambridge University, 1962, CUC/AFD, 15-19 (Aerial Photograph). SDV345649.


Cambridge University, 1966, CUC/ANM, 12-17 (Aerial Photograph). SDV62341.


Cambridge University, 1966, CUC/ANM, 12-17 (Aerial Photograph). SDV62341.


Copeland, G. W., 1966, Proceedings at the 104th Annual Meeting, 28-9 (Article in Serial). SDV266064.


Renn, D. F., 1968, Norman Castles in Britain, 235-236/plate 27,fig 42 (Monograph). SDV74059.


Cambridge University, 1971, CUC/BFK, 21-2,29-36 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346663.


Cambridge University Collection, 1979, CUC/CIZ, 9-12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV230728.


Higham, R. A., 1979, The Castles of Medieval Devon, 69-75,294-296,315,317-318, 331/fig 10,11/plates 12,13 (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV336189.

In its first period, it was a square tower of unknown height with first floor entrance, and as such is the only example in Devon of the classic rectangular tower keep.


Saunders, A. D., 1980, Lydford Castle, 123-186,plan (Article in Serial). SDV253674.

Stone keep, Lydford castle. Excavated by A. D. Saunders. Three main periods:
(1) a free standing stone building of two or more storeys built late 12th century. Of this only the ground floor (without entrance) survives. The interior was divided into two unequal parts. The larger containing a well. Subsequently all but the ground floor was demolished, and the building damaged by fire.
Period (2) late 13th century: two storeys added to period 1 ground floor walls. The ground floor was filled with rubble, except for one small room which continued in use as a pit/dungeon. The first floor was divided into three unequal rooms of differing standards of comfort (only one for example had a garderobe) identified as reflecting different grades of prison accommodation. The second floor contained two rooms interpreted as the courtroom and keepers lodgings. During this period the mound was thrown up around the keep, giving the appearance of a motte.
Period (3) refurbishing in the 18th century.


Ancient Monuments, 1989, Lydford; Ringwork, Castle, Town Banks, Site of Saxon Town and Defences (Schedule Document). SDV351489.

Originally a two storey 12th century tower 15.8 metres square with walls 3 metres thick. Rebuilt in the 13th century with 2 metre thick walls and a mound built up round the ground floor of the original tower. Ground floor infilled; rectangular bailey part bounded by Saxon earthwork.


Ruckley, N. A., 1990, Water supply of Medieval Castles in the UK, 21-23 (Article in Serial). SDV233067.

Original water supply was rainwater collected from the roof and ducted into the basement. Replaced by the well within the tower. 12th century wall contains carved water spout.


Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

Keep is depicted on the modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV135873Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1950. CUC/FL. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 20-22.
SDV230713Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX58SW2. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV230716Article in Serial: Wilson, D. M. + Hurst, D. G.. 1959. Interim Report. Medieval Archaeology. 3. Unknown. 307.
SDV230717Article in Serial: Wilson, D. M. + Hurst, D. G.. 1958. Interim Report. Medieval Archaeology. 2. Unknown. 195.
SDV230728Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection. 1979. CUC/CIZ. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Unknown. 9-12.
SDV233067Article in Serial: Ruckley, N. A.. 1990. Water supply of Medieval Castles in the UK. Fortress. 7. 21-23.
SDV253674Article in Serial: Saunders, A. D.. 1980. Lydford Castle. Medieval Archaeology. 24. Unknown. 123-186,plan.
SDV266064Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1966. Proceedings at the 104th Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 98. A5 Paperback. 28-9.
SDV336189Post-Graduate Thesis: Higham, R. A.. 1979. The Castles of Medieval Devon. University of Exeter Thesis. Unknown. 69-75,294-296,315,317-318, 331/fig 10,11/plates 12,13.
SDV345649Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1962. CUC/AFD. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 15-19.
SDV346663Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1971. CUC/BFK. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 21-2,29-36.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #81215 ]
SDV350136Article in Serial: Lady Radford. 1930. Notes on the Tinners of Devon and Their Laws. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 62. A5 Hardback. 230,233,239,242.
SDV350343Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. CUC/K. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 17-x141, 147-9.
SDV351489Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1989. Lydford; Ringwork, Castle, Town Banks, Site of Saxon Town and Defences. The Schedule of Monuments.
SDV62341Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1966. CUC/ANM. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 12-17.
SDV74059Monograph: Renn, D. F.. 1968. Norman Castles in Britain. Norman Castles in Britain. Unknown. 235-236/plate 27,fig 42.

Associated Monuments

MDV3189Parent of: Well, Lydford Castle (Monument)
MDV14312Part of: Lydford Castle (Monument)
MDV14314Related to: Bailey, Lydford Castle (Monument)
MDV14315Related to: Saxon earthworks, Lydford (Monument)
MDV14316Related to: Saxon features at Lydford Castle (Monument)
MDV3190Related to: Seal found at Lydford Castle (Find Spot)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6171 - Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Sewage Treatment Works at Lydford (Ref: 08.31)
  • EDV6180 - The Town and Castle Earthworks at Lydford

Date Last Edited:Jul 12 2013 9:49AM