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A comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales and the Islands.
 
 
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Deptford castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Sayes Court; West Greenwich

In the historic county of Kent.
Modern Authority of London Borough of Lewisham.
1974 county of Greater London.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ36957800
Latitude 51.48439° Longitude -0.02904°

Deptford castle has been described as a probable Masonry Castle.

There are no visible remains.

Description

Gilbert de Magminot (or Maminot, as this name was afterwards more frequently spelt) fixed the scite of his barony here, which therefore was afterwards esteemed caput baroniæ, or head of the barony, and he erected a castle on it, as was usual in those days, every part of which has been long since buried in its own ruins; though some remains of stony foundations seem to point out the situation of it, near Saye's-court, in Bromfield, on the bank of the Thames, near the mast dock. (Hasted)

The manor of Deptford having been granted by William the Conqueror to Gilbert de Magminot, he is said to have erected a castle there, which, as it would have commanded the passage of the Thames, the adjacent great road to Dover, and the deep ford of the Ravensbourne, is by no means improbable. The family becoming extinct in 1192, the castle seems to have fallen into ruin at a very early date. Hasted, writing in 1778, remarks that the site of it was to be traced in some old foundations "not far from Says Court, near Bromfield, on the bank of the Thames adjoining the mast dock." The site has long since been built upon, and incorporated in what is now the Royal Victualling Yard. There was another old house in Deptford commonly called "the moated place," "Stone, or King John's House," from that monarch having been supposed to have built it. Edward III. is known to have resided there, 1 and Henry IV. dated his will, 21 Jan., 1408, from his manor of Greenwich. It was no doubt just such a hunting seat as King John's House at Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, a defensible house of no great strength or importance, but for additional security protected by a moat. (Sands)

Some records place this in the London Borough of Greenwich, presumably because the medieval manor was called West Greenwich or because of a failure to appreciate the line of the borough boundary.
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This record last updated on Friday, November 14, 2014

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