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Staplehurst Castle Bank

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
(Frittenden, Knox Bridge in error); Knocks Bridge Castle; Nocks Bridge Castle

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

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ78434063
Latitude 51.13755° Longitude 0.54909°

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

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The monument near Knox Bridge, formerly interpreted as the site of a Norman motte castle, includes a moot mound and its surrounding quarry ditch. The mound is circular in plan and measures some 50m in diameter. In height it stands 2.8m above the level of the surrounding ground. A berm of 3m separates the mound from the surrounding ditch, which is some 5m across and now less than 1m deep, although this is largely the result of silting and the ditch must formerly have been considerably deeper in order to provide sufficient material for the construction of the mound. The most characteristic feature of the moot mound is the deep, bowl-shaped depression in the interior which served as the arena for debate and decision- making. This depression is 2m deep and 27m in diameter. The moot mound lies near the present boundaries between the parishes of Frittenden, Staplehurst and Cranbrook which formed the Hundred of Cranbrooke and over which the moot court had jurisdiction. (Scheduling Report)

Castle Bank near Knox Bridge otherwise known as Knocks or Nocks Bridge Castle, consists of a fosse with the ballast thrown inward to form a ramparted keep, the fosse being supplied with water via a channel from the nearby stream. There is no trace of a bailey or further enclosure. (VCH)
When the moat was drained some time prior to 1873, many stumps were discovered which appeared to be the remains of a palisade. (Roach Smith, 1880)
Scheduled as Castle. No 116. (MOW List of Anc Mon in Eng & Wales 1958 46 ANG 8.9.61)
Castle Bank, a ring motte, heavily overgrown, otherwise in fairly good condition, and as described above. It is placed in a significant position at an old river crossing. (F1 ASP 01-DEC-61)
Reinterpreted as a moot or meeting place by the Monuments Protection Programme. (Kent HER)

Small ringwork with wet moat. (King)

Not a manorial centre but close to river crossing at the centre of a Saxon Hundred. A rather fine example of how there was (and too some extent still remains) a tendency to describe earthworks as defensive and to see locations in military terms rather than in economic or, as in this case, political/adminstrative terms. However, whilst there is nothing to suggest this happen here, it is entirely probably that some Moots were appropriated by Norman lords as temporary camps or permanent residences replacing a communal government feature with a more centralised lordly administrative centre.
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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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