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CastleUK Blog
July 2009
The blog page, a place where I can record and then archive my monthly updates and what's new in our hunt for castles UK.
Of this months palace and castles, 1 is from Greater London and 4 are from Kent and all together they make a good day out.
In June it was back to work and busy on the website. Its been nice to get some hot weather and we managed to get some jobs done in the garden. Well we could even sit outside on an evening but people clicking on the site as also slowed down, with everybody enjoying the sun. I'm busy working out a little castle hunting trip for later in July, going back up north to Northumberland to find some castles, bastles and towers, plus we've booked a couple of nights at Langley Castle Hotel. Built in 1350, during the reign of Edward III, the castle has retained its architectural integrity and is regarded as one of the few medieval fortified Castle Hotels in England. The South-west twelve Garderobes tower, four on each floor, is on a monumental scale, each having a pointed arch to the recess, in which are stone corbels to carry the seats, the shafts discharged into a pit, through which a stream of water could be diverted to flush it clean. They are perhaps the finest remaining examples of this type and style of architecture in Europe, so hopefully there will be room for everyone and we will be able to get a look in. I think I better put the castle on the site, I've some pictures taken in November 2003 when I walked up the drive, so I'll get busy, oh no the suns shining again maybe I'll do it tomorrow.
Click on the pictures, for more information.
Brecon Castle Wallpaper
Brecon Castle, OS 160/SO 043-288 Brecknockshire Wales, is this months wallpaper.
The picture was taken in March 2009, on our hunt into Wales and the Marches. The view is from the bridge on Castle Street and you can see the 14th century semi-octagonal tower and the round stair tower, with later additions. Taken on a nice sunny afternoon, which was soon to turn black and snow, the towers with the southern wall of the late 13th century two storey Great Hall, are part the early 19th century Castle of Brecon Hotel. So if you like the picture, go stop in the castle, ho what fun we castle hunters can have.
Eltham Palace
Eltham Palace, OS 177/TQ 424-740 Greater London England, was a originally an 11th century manor house, founded by the de Clare family. In 1295, Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham transformed the site when fortifying his moated bishop's palace, with an encasing curtain wall, flanked by octagonal corner and intermediate towers. In 1305, the palace passed to Edward, Prince of Wales and was then used as a royal residence for the next 300 years. The site is owned by English Heritage and is open Sunday to Wednesday, April to October 10:00-5:00pm, November to 20th December, February to March 11:00-4:00pm. A+ site, in the Great Hall you walk in the footsteps of Kings and in the house you can take in its Art Deco and ocean liner style, the palace is a stunning masterpiece of 15th and 20th century design.
Court Lodge - Horton Castle
Court Lodge, OS 177/TQ 561-686 Kent England, is a medieval fortified manorial complex, founded on lands granted to Bishop Odo of Bayeux. The site of Horton Castle, which was once a stone moated manor house, defended by an eastern gatehouse with a drawbridge, which was later replaced by a brick bridge of one arch. The present two storey house, is 18th century but the south and east walls are of exceptional thickness and must be the remains of a medieval building. The site is a private residence, with no public access and the view from the church is restricted. There's nothing to see here but it's the site of a castle and they all count.
Eynsford Castle
Eynsford Castle, OS 177/TQ 542-658 Kent England, was originally a Saxon moated site, with a substantial stone building. Standing on a low artificial platform in the flood-plain of the River Darenth, a very early Norman stone enclosure castle, replaced this residence. In 1085, Ralph son of Unspac held the castle for Lanfranc, the archbishop of Canterbury and his son William de Eynsford founded the stone castle. The site is owned by English Heritage and is open daily, April to September 10:00-6:00pm, October to November, February to March 10:00-4:00pm. Wednesday to Sunday November to December 10:00-4:00pm. The 13th century castle is little altered by later building works, which is very rare, that alone makes it a must see and its also in a lovely spot.
Lullingstone Castle
Lullingstone Castle, OS 177/TQ 529-644 Kent England, was originally a medieval manorial complex, founded by the Rokesle family. A manor house approached via two gatehouse and encased by an inner embattled wall and a moat was possibly founded in the late 15th century by John Peche or between 1543 and 1580 by Sir Percyvall Hart. In the 18th century the house was given its Queen Anne style facade and Sir John Dixon Dyke demolished the inner gatehouse and filled in the moat. The site is owned by the Hart Dyke family and the gatehouse is visible from Lillingstone Lane. The World Garden is open, April to 27th September Fridays and Saturdays 12:00- 5:00pm, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays 2:00-6:00pm. It's now hard to say if this site was every fortified, the wall and moat could have been just for show and seeing that there both gone we'll never know. It's now called a castle and its got a gatehouse plus its been on the BBC, so why not go visit Tom Hart Dyke’s innovative World Garden, which is laid out in the shape of a map of the World.
Shoreham Castle
Shoreham Castle, OS 177/TQ TQ 523-635 Kent England, is a medieval fortified manorial complex, founded on lands granted to Bishop Odo of Bayeux. In 1307 the stone castle passed to Hugo de Poyntz, who held it under the archbishop of Canterbury. There are references of a 15th century ownership dispute and that the castle had a moat fed by the River Darenth. Sadly by the 16th century the castle was in ruins and no trace of the moat can now be found. The site is visible from the road. Not a lot to see here, just bits of wall, I did ask at the shop if I could take some outside pictures of the walls and I'll give them a link but I got an abrupt dismissal.

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