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 

Ravenstone Castle

In the civil parish of Ravenstone With Snibstone.
In the historic county of Leicestershire.
Modern Authority of Leicestershire.
1974 county of Leicestershire.
Medieval County of Leicestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK40051395
Latitude 52.72172° Longitude -1.40847°

Ravenstone Castle has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are no visible remains.


A 'castle' at Ravenstone is documented in 1149-53 when, in a Treaty between the Earls of Chester and Leicester, it was agreed to destroy it.

Possible Medieval moat, suggested castle site, and fishponds. A castle is mentioned at Ravenstone between 1148 and 1153. Field investigation in 1972 found only a marshy tract and the fragmentary remains of fishponds. If a ditch for a moat ever existed it must have been mainly dry. (PastScape)

The earls of Chester and Leicester had each acquired a small estate in Ravenstone. (King, 1980, p. 4 Ref. Leics Survey p. 47)

Renn locates this at SK411131, which McWhirr and Winter writes 'is in fact a moated site and fieldwork has failed to reveal any evidence of a castle' although this may say something about preconceptions as to what the destroyed 'castle' was.
Nichols writes "on the north side of the town stood an ancient castle which was destroyed... in the reign of King Henry II" Nichols was not the best historian but this location would site the castle at or near the site of Ravenstone Hall.
A critical re-examination of the original source, in light of broader ideas of the form and functions of 'castles' is probably required. It may well be there where two manors at Ravenstone and that there were conflicts in the management of these estates (issues such as servile duties). In does not seem likely that either manor was a significantly fortified site, because of the expense of providing the garrison and because of the lack of remains, although some ditching, embankments and palisading would be likely at both. Calling a modest manor house a 'castle' might have more to do with the dignity of the noble status of an Earl and/or a negotiation ploy/embellishment rather than being a description of the form of the building structure.
Gatehouse favours Ravenstone Hall as the site for the 'castle', a small and slight mound in the church yard, suggested as an alternative, appears most unlikely.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
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 09:20:07

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