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Winchelsea Castle

In the civil parish of Icklesham.
In the historic county of Sussex.
Modern Authority of East Sussex.
1974 county of East Sussex.
Medieval County of Sussex (Rape of Hastings).

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ902175
Latitude 50.92599° Longitude 0.70537°

Winchelsea Castle has been described as a Masonry Castle but is rejected as such.

There are no visible remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Royal castle projected but never begun. (Renn; etc.)

there was a stronghold or castle built by the king at the north-west corner of the town (Cooper 1850)

Despite the suggestion that a C13 royal castle was proposed (or even existed) in fact there is little evidence to support this and it is likely that no castle was ever considered (cf. the new similar dated foundation of Kingston upon Hull - where there certainly was never a royal castle). There is a castle field place name in the NW of Winchelsea, which has been used to support the suggestion of a planned castle. However, this area, the old village of Iham, was outside the borough of Winchelsea in land owned by a religious house when Winchelsea was built. The date of the first mention of this place-name seems to be 1500 (Martin and Martin p. 54). It should be noted that in 1487 Richard Guldeford was granted the lordship of Higham, alias Iham with licence to crenellate the manor there. Guldeford may have planned a crenellated house here and the place-name may reflect this late C15 intent, even if it came to nothing. The grant of Iham to Guldeford was conditional on him building 'le Camber' (later Camber Castle) and it may well be the rents of castle field were directed to the support of Camber Castle and the name simple reflects this relationship.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:30

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