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Lidgate Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Lydgate; Liegate

In the civil parish of Lidgate.
In the historic county of Suffolk.
Modern Authority of Suffolk.
1974 county of Suffolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL72125819
Latitude 52.19521° Longitude 0.51702°

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

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Lidgate Castle, a motte and bailey castle with later manorial enclosures, is situated on a natural rise centred TL 7212 5819. The work comprises a motte 20.0m square, with a mound 2.0m high on the SE side, but no indications of building foundations (area now afforested). The motte is surrounded by a steeply scarped ditch averaging 5.0m deep by 20.0m wide with an outer bank 3.2m high on the NW side. This bank, incorporating two sub-circular platforms at TL 7205 5820, widens on the N and E side to 9.0m by 4.8m high and runs into the main bailey which is now occupied by the 13th-14th century church. (The break at TL 7216 5819 is later). The bailey was approached by the original entrance at TL 7210 5811 which gave access to the motte across a cause-way. Traces of flint rubble walling, c1.0m thick are visible at TL 7208 5819 but this has been faced by coursed flints and modern brick and may be later. The bailey ditch has been destroyed by modern buildings on all but the west side. Two further enclosures are visible; one centred at TL 7220 5811, lies to the east of the bailey surrounded by a waterfilled ditch 2.0m deep. Only the SE angle now remains, the rest having been filled in recent years. The other enclosure, on the gentle slope below the castle, surrounds a non defensive area between Bailey Pond and the castle entrance. The irregular ditch on the west side measures about 14.0m wide by 1.6m deep but fades towards the pond and has been destroyed by modern boundary banks on the east side. These two enclosures are probably later manorial works. (PastScape–ref. Field Investigators Comments-F1 PAS 23-FEB-76)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
  • Websites (Gatehouse is not responsible for the content of external websites.)
  • Books
    • Liddiard, Robert, 2005, 'The Castle Landscape of Anglo-Norman East Anglia: A Regional Perspective' in Harper-Bill, C. (ed), Medieval East Anglia (Woodbridge, Boydell) p. 33-51
      Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of East Anglia (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 81
      Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (Shown on map of fortified houses of East Anglia)
      Martin, Edward, 1999 (3edn), 'Medieval Castles' in Dymond, David and Martin, Edward (eds) An Historical Atlas of Suffolk (Lavenham) p. 58-9
      Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 236
      Brown, R.Allen, 1989, Castles from the Air (Cambridge University Press) p. 146-47
      King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 458
      Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 254
      Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 225
      Pevsner, N., 1961, Buildings of England: Suffolk (London, Penguin) p. 306
      Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England
      Wall, 1911, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Suffolk Vol. 1 p. 600-1 (plan) online copy
  • Periodical Articles
    • 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)
      Redstone, V.B. (?or Warren, F.E.), 1904, 'Lidgate, its castle and manor (Communication, 27 Jul 1904)' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 12.1 p. 132-134 online copy
      1863, 'Proceedings at the Meetings of the Institute' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 3 p. 413 online copy
  • Primary (Medieval documents or transcriptions of such documents - This section is far from complete and the secondary sources should be consulted for full references.)
    • Stubbs, W. (ed), 1880, The Minor Works comprising the Gesta regum with its continuation, the Actus pontificum, and the Mappa mundi, by Gervase, the Monk of Canterbury (London: Longman Rolls series 73) Vol. 2 p. 427 online copy
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This record last updated on Saturday, November 15, 2014

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