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Starborough Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Sterborough; Sterborrow; Prinkham; Pringham; Prynkeham in Lyngfeld

In the civil parish of Lingfield And Dormansland.
In the historic county of Surrey.
Modern Authority of Surrey.
1974 county of Surrey.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ42584409
Latitude 51.17828° Longitude 0.03868°

Starborough Castle has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.

Description

Although the medieval buildings of Starborough Castle have been dismantled, the monument retains significant evidence for its original form, including the moat and in situ foundations and masonry. The castle also represents the 18th and 19th century phenomenon of Romantic Antiquarianism, involving the remodelling and reuse of an earlier, medieval structure as the focus of a landscaped garden. The monument includes a quadrangular castle situated within a sandstone valley on the southern side of the River Eden, around 3km to the south west of Edenbridge. The castle buildings, which were constructed upon a roughly square, artificial island of 0.8ha, survive mainly in the form of buried foundations and associated archaeological remains. Documentary evidence and a 17th century engraving suggest that the castle buildings were faced with sandstone ashlar and ranged around a central courtyard. The outer defences included a high curtain wall with projecting, circular corner towers. Surrounding the island is a water-filled, roughly square moat up to 25m wide. Modern drainage and service trenches have caused some disturbance to the moat, although original, in situ masonry survives within its coursed sandstone lining. The moat walling is Listed Grade II-star. Access to the island was by way of a now dismantled central bridge over the southern arm of the moat, traces of the foundations of which were discovered during the construction of a replacement bridge in 1984. Most of the original castle buildings have been dated to 1341, when the then owner, Lord Cobham, was granted licence to crenellate his residence at Starborough. The monument is recorded as one of the places of captivity of the Duke of Orleans after the battle of Agincourt in 1415. The castle was dismantled by order of the Parliamentary government in 1648, when it was feared that it could be used as a focus for Royalist resistance. During the 18th century the monument was remodelled and reused as an ornamental landscape feature, forming part of the grounds of the adjacent country house. The level of the central island was significantly raised and landscaped, and in 1754, the then owner, Sir James Burrow, built a Gothic style garden house of dressed sandstone within its north eastern corner. This building is Listed Grade II-star. The building material included some reused medieval masonry originating from the earlier castle buildings. The moat, island and garden house underwent renovation during the 1980s and now form part of a separate residence. (Scheduling Report)

'a little fort built like a castle (forcelettum ad modum castri) with a very strong wall, and a park with deer, measuring a league in circuit.' (Inq. P.M–Inq. (indented) taken at Lyngfeld, 19 November, 43 Edward III. (1369))

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1341 Oct 18 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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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.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated on Saturday, July 26, 2014

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