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Sauvey Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Salvata; Salvee; Sanvey; Trencheland

In the civil parish of Withcote.
In the historic county of Leicestershire.
Modern Authority of Leicestershire.
1974 county of Leicestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK78680525
Latitude 52.63942° Longitude -0.83784°

Sauvey Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Medieval ringwork and bailey castle built in reign of Stephen (1135-54) including surrounding ditch and dam surviving as earthworks. Stone foundations of original buildings and curtain wall. Favoured hunting lodge of King John. Mentioned in 1216, 1226 and in 1246, it was probably ruinous in C15. The castle consists of two enclosures; a rectangular bailey measuring 100m by 70m on the western side, and a smaller oval enclosure measuring 60m by 40m on the east. The surface of the bailey is flat with a slight inner bank on the west and south sides; a low mound with depressions on the north-east side represents the location of a guardhouse. To the east, the smaller enclosure is slightly higher than the bailey and contained the original stone castle which can be seen exposed in several places, especially near the entrance. The surrounding ditch varies between 20m wide on the west side, opening out to a 60m valley on the east. Situated to the south east is an earth bank, 6m high, which dammed the valley. Sauvey Castle has an unusual plan with few parallels nationally. Scheduled as a Ringwork and Bailey. (PastScape)

Suggested as a location of 'Trencheland' recorded once when £16 spent by King John on lead for the roof, although this may alternatively have been Allexton, Leicestershire.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
  • Books
    • Cantor, Leonard, 2003, The Scheduled Ancient Monument of Leicestershire and Rutland (Leicester: Kairos Press) p. 38
      Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 43
      Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 141
      Pevsner, Nikolaus; revised by Elizabeth Williamson with Geoffrey K Brandwood, 1984, Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland (Harmondsworth)
      King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1
      Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 296
      Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 306
      Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 829, 1005-6
      Wall, C., 1907, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm, (ed), VCH Leicestershire Vol. 1 p. 249-50 (plan) online copy
      Nichols, J., 1804, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicestershire Vol. 2 p. 394
  • Periodical Articles
    • Speight, Sarah, 2004, ''Religion in the Bailey: Charters, Chapels and the Clergy' Château Gaillard Vol. 21 p. 271-80
      Creighton, O.H., 1997, 'Early Leicestershire Castles: Archaeology and Landscape History' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 71 p. 30, 32-3 online copy
      Cantor, Leonard, 1977-8, 'The Medieval Castles of Leicestershire' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 53 p. 37-8 online copy
      Brown, R, Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)
      Brown, R. Allen, 1955, 'Royal Castle-building in England 1154-1216' English Historical Review Vol. 70 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press)) p. 19-64
  • Primary (Medieval documents or transcriptions of such documents - This section is far from complete and the secondary sources should be consulted for full references.)
    • Stenton, D.M. (ed.), 1953, The Great Roll of the Pipe for the thirteenth year of the reign of King John, Michaelmas 1211 (Pipe Roll 57) (Pipe Roll Society Publications 66)
      Stamp, A.E. (ed), 1930, Calendar of Liberate Rolls Henry III (1240-1245) Vol. 2 (London: HMSO) p. 249 view online copy
      C145/48(21) (Survey of 1289) The National Archives reference (calendared in Maxwell Lyte, H.C., 1916, Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery), preserved in the Public Record Office (H.M.S.O.) Vol. 1 No. 1475)
  • Other sources: Theses; 'grey' literature; in-house reports; unpublished works; etc.
    • Cox, B., 1971, The Place-Names of Leicestershire and Rutland (Unpub PhD thesis: University of Nottingham) p. 198-9 (available via EThOS)
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This record last updated on Saturday, November 15, 2014

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