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Starkey Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Starkeys Castle

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

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ71386560
Latitude 51.36361° Longitude 0.46038°

Starkey Castle has been described 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*.


Manor house, possibly at one time also hospice, now house. Circa 1360-1380, C15 and early C19. Random rubble with dressed stone quoins and dressings. Some galletting. Plain tiled roof, with coped parapeted gabled cross-wing to left and tall stone and stack at extrance left. Central buttress to hall at right. Hall-house plan with services to left and solar wing to right, probably demolished in C17. 1 storey hall, floored in C16 and C17 and 2 storey cross- to left with 2 storey out-blocks behind and to left. Wide pointed-arched 3- light traceried window on cross-wing to left on first-floor above square-headed early C19 Tudor-style window on ground-floor. 2-storey pointed-arched dais window with early C19 wood and stone mullion and tracery in moulded surround with drip-mould to right. Square-headed windows with drip-moulds and 2-light Tudor-style glazing on ground and first-floors to right of centre. Doorway to left of centre in moulded pointed-arched surround with drip-mould. Doubled doors with 'Gothick'-glazed archlight. SOUTH FRONT: Projecting chimney-breast against side of cross-wing. L-shaped block projecting to left with hipped roof. Round-arched windows on 2 floors, on main block to left of chimney-breast and facing south in angle of 'L'. WEST FRONT: Projecting wing to right, main block to left with gabled cross-wing to right of centre. Hipped roofed stair-tower at left of cross-wing with pointed arched moulded entrance and doubled doors to left. Irregular fenestration of square- and round-headed windows. Mostly C14 with one late C15 2-light window with original stone mullion above to left. North front: Rendered with 2 corbels assymetrically placed on ground-floor and C16 an early C17 red-brick infill to gable end. Interior: Double height 2-bay open hall with arch-braced rafter roof with braces, trusses and ashlars, resting on moulded cornices. Moulded arched braces resting on corbels decorated with winged angels in centre and shields at ends. Remains of inserted stack and walls in hall below. Opposing entrance doorway on scheme of screen's-passage survive as well as Buttery and Pantry doorways and doorway to stairs. Large room, formerly chapel, with remains of aumbry and piscina recesses, on first- floor of cross-wing, reached by stone spiral staircase at south-west end of hall. Rafter roof with moulded side-purlins and arched braces resting on shield- moulded corbels. Stone roll-moulded fireplace of late C15 in chapel. Starkey Castle is graded I as one of the most complete surviving stone-built medieval hall-houses in Southern England. (Listed Building Report)

The fortress appellation was probably first added to this manor house during the late C18. (Emery)

Virtually complete C14 manor house of outstanding quality rather little known. Not moated and does not now have any crenellations or other suggestions of fortifications serious or decorative. However, there were other substantial, now lost, buildings including a chapel and potentially a gatehouse.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

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