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Montfichet Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Mountfichet; Montfiquit; Munfichet: Old Bailey; Ludgate Hill

In the civil parish of City Of London.
In the historic county of City of London.
Modern Authority of City and County of the City of London.
1974 county of Greater London.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ31788098
Latitude 51.51403° Longitude -0.10276°

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

There are no visible remains.

Description

Montfichet tower possibly originated in the reign of William I, but is not documented until the 1130's. It was given to the Black Friars in 1275 and demolished soon afterwards. (PastScape ref. Weinreb and Hibbert)

A castle (probably a moated site with tower) built immediately N of Baynards Castle (041200) by William de Montfichet in or around the late C11. It fell into disuse in the C13 & was demolished after 1275 (the masonry being used to build blackfriars priory). Documentary research has shown that Montfichet's Tower was bounded by Ludgate Hill, the City Wall (roughly where Pilgrim St joins Ludgate), Creed Lane and Carter Lane, forming an oblong roughly 80m x 50M. Montfichet Tower was defended by ditches on three sides, probably with an internal rampart and wall. Inside stood a stone keep on a motte. (Greater London HER)

Stow reports the castle was destroyed by King John in 1213 after Richard Mountfichet had been exiled to France. On Richard's return he rebuilt the castle but it was totally destroyed in 1276 to make way for Black Friar's.

Watson (1992) reconstructs the site in a drawing as a four storey square masonry tower but there seems to be no evidence documentary or archaeological to suggest such a things. Watson's excavation seems to have found ditches but little else. However did survive into the C13 and some masonry buildings are possible although not necessarily fortifications.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
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This record last updated on Saturday, March 29, 2014

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