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Sissinghurst Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

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

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ80773830
Latitude 51.11561° Longitude 0.58279°

Sissinghurst Castle has been described as a Masonry Castle but is rejected as such, and also as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Remains of a courtyard house standing close to the site of a 12th century moated manor house. Three of the moat arms survive, two are still waterfilled while the third has been converted into a grass walk. The manor house was demolished after 1490 and replaced by a mansion standing on higher ground to the west. This house was itself largely demolished between 1560 and 1570, leaving only the brick-built entrance range, probably originally the stable range, part of which was probably extended in the 17th century. A substantial courtyard house was subsequently built on the site but this had fallen into disrepair by 1800 and many of the buildings were dismantled, leaving only the South Cottage, which had formed the south eastern corner of the house, and the gatehouse. The remnants housed the parish workhouse between 1796 and 1855 and were later used as farm buildings. The site was sold in 1930 and subsequently altered and restored. The Priest's House, now standing in the gardens developed after 1930, dates from the 16th century and was always a free-standing building. It is thought to have housed the chaplain associated with a chapel which was founded on the site in 1235. (PastScape)

Only referred to as a castle when used as a prison for French sailors captured in Seven Years War. Almost always dismissed as unfortified and never a 'true' castle. However, was a substantial manor house with a chapel founded 1235. Not enough remains to know if the medieval house was fortified or not. Perhaps in the eagerness to dismiss this as a 'true' castle the possibility that it might have been a semi-fortified manor house has been overlooked?
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:30

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