The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Appledore Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Appledore.
In the historic county of Kent.
Modern Authority of Kent.
1974 county of Kent.
Medieval County of Kent.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ95322904
Latitude 51.02753° Longitude 0.78393°

Appledore Castle has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.


Tradition says that a ' castle ' stood where is now the church, and that it was destroyed by the French in 1380. If there be truth in this tradition we should think it just possible that the church stands within the area of what was an extensive outer court of a stronghold of, perhaps, early Norman days. On the south-west, where the ridge ends abruptly, in a commanding position overlooking the ancient waterways, is a small mount, wholly or partly of artificial construction, which may be a burial tumulus but is more likely the base of a keep-mount. Round part of it is a ditch, probably the poor remnant of a fosse filled with the accumu- lated detritus of the mount, and close by on the steep hill-side are traces of a spring of water, while on the other side, nearer the church, is a piece of level ground which, though now neither fossed nor ramparted, may well have been the base court of the keep.' (VCH)

South-west of Appledore, where the ridge ends, is a mound which may be a tumulus but is more likely to be a castle mount. It is partially enclosed by a filled-in ditch. On the side nearer the church is a piece of level ground which may have been a bailey, though there is no trace of ditch or rampart. Remains of a spring are evident on the hillside. There is the tradition of a 'castle' (destroyed 1380) on the site of the present church. This is windmill mound measuring 28.0m in diameter and about 1.5m in height, and surrounded by a ditch except on the south east side. There are three causeways across the ditch leading to the top of the mound. Symondson's map of Kent (1596) shows a windmill here. (Kent HER)

Tradition of castle reported by Kilburne in 1659 'upon the ruines of that Castle the present Church was builded (the situation whereof rendreth the same probable)' The manorial centre appears to be at Hornes Place, though this may only date from C13, which is when Grade 1 listed parish church dates from. This position would guard a river crossing in a marshy area where the road way was probably much confined and this represents one of the few ways off Dungeness. Camden writes "Apledore, where a confused rable of Danish and Norman Pirates, which under the conduct of one Hasting had sore annoied the French coasts, loaden with booties, landed and built a Castle, whom notwithstanding King Aelfred by his valour enforced to accept conditions of peace." This would suggest a temporary Viking camp, certainly a possibility.
It is possible that this tradition of a battle with the Danes has become confabulated with a later Norman castle and the location somehow slightly misplaced. The 'Court Lodge' house name in the supposed bailey is also suggestive of this being a manorial centre. However, the confabulation of histories and the weakness of physical evidence suggest much fanciful story telling rather than a genuine lost castle site. It may well be the mound at the given map reference was only ever a millstead. The tradition was the church, at TQ957292, was the site of a castle.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:30

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact