Aston Cantlow Castle

Description of this historic site

The site of Aston Cantlow Castle which dates from the Medieval period. It is known from documentary evidence. The ringwork, a defensive bank and ditch, is still visible as an earthwork. It is situated west of Aston Cantlow.

Notes about this historic site

1 Between the river and the village are the earthwork remains of a castle of the Cantilupes. It passed from them to the Hastings and is described in an extent of the manor in 1274, but by 1392 the castle and the barns and the granges belonging to it were in ruins and worth nothing. The earthworks lie close to the river and are roughly circular in shape, surrounded by a single ditch. There are also remains of ditches at the S end of the field towards the church. George Lewing about 1850 noted that the ground showed a causeway leading up to the church; the remains of stonework, apparently that of the drawbridge, still existed. A partial excavation in 1935 revealed, close to the surface, a foundation wall of local lias stone and fragments of pottery and roofing tiles.
2 This may have been an ordinary house rather than a castle. The Cantilupes would have had a manor house of some importance. Dugdale records a tradition of a castle S of the church. In 1932 an excavation was carried out N of the church where there is a well-defined moated enclosure, somewhat triangular in shape, and 58m across, and unearthed some foundations and Medieval pottery. The foundations suggest a house rather than a 13th century castle.
3 A major ring castle with double bailey. The earthworks show slight mutilation only and, in general, are well-preserved. Rectangular building foundations may be traced within the ring but are too slight to survey. The drawbridge could not be identified.
5 The earthworks are still in good condition. The earthworks E (?W) of the old railway line are still discernible despite having been planted with cabbages. The building foundations within the ring were evident and there was a concentration of stone in this area.
7 Dugdale’s statement (reference 2) could indicate that the castle is actually PRN 1574.
8 Monument scheduled in March 1998.
9 Correspondence about the site before it was scheduled.

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