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Kingston Upon Thames Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Moreford, Kenington, Warwick Castle

In the civil parish of Kingston Upon Thames.
In the historic county of Surrey.
Modern Authority of London Borough of Kingston Upon Thames.
1974 county of Greater London.
Medieval County of Surrey.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ18136926
Latitude 51.41007° Longitude -0.30286°

Kingston Upon Thames Castle has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle.

There are no visible remains.


Kingston Castle, supposedly associated with the Saxon palace , was captured by Henry III in 1264. Subsequently, it is said to have belonged to the Nevills, Earls of Warwick in the 15th century. It possibly stood near the corner of Heathen {Eden?} Street. (PastScape)

Kingston was a demesne manor of the West Saxon kings. Edward the Confessor let it out to farm and had a stud-farm in its neighbourhood. It was its 'great bridge' over the Thames that gave it special importance, as in the 13th century, this was the most easterly of the bridges before London Bridge was reached. In 1217 the peace between King John and Louis of France was first negotiated at Kingston though signed at Lambeth, and Henry III came here in 1234, 1236, and 1263. In 1238 and 1261 assemblies of the barons were held here. Probably the castle captured by Henry III in 1264 on his march south to Rochester (Hemingburgh) was built to cover the bridge on land seized from the manor by Gilbert de Clare, who himself had no land nearer than Long Ditton (q.v.), for Kingston was held in demesne. Kingston, probably from its accessibility, was a favourite place for tournaments. (VCH)

In the year 1264, Henry III. then at war with his barons, marched out of London, and took the castle of Kenington, or Kingston, belonging to Gilbert Clare earl of Gloucester (Stow's Annals); the castle was probably then demolished; its memory, except in this record, is not preserved even by tradition. (Lysons)

The location of either the de Clare castle and the Neville castle is uncertain and the given map reference is a 'traditional' site. It is not certain that the two castles occupied the same site. The de Clare castle, if actually built to control the river crossing during the Baron's War, may well have been timber and earthwork although the Neville castle, more probably a crenellated house, must have been masonry. However it would seem probably that de Clare would reuse an existing site, particularly if it had high status associations and, if so, then the Nevilles could also have done so.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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