The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Bayford Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
castle ruffe; bavord; Goodmanston; Goodneston; Godewynston

In the civil parish of Sittingbourne.
In the historic county of Kent.
Modern Authority of Kent.
1974 county of Kent.
Medieval County of Kent.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ91416438
Latitude 51.34702° Longitude 0.74677°

Bayford Castle has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.


Site of Bayford Castle (Erected A.D. 893) (OS maps). Saxton's large scale plan shows the site of Goodmanston manor house, called "castle ruffe", in approximately the same position as the O.S. symbol for Bayford Castle, to the north-east of the moated site of Bayford manor house. Bayford Castle and Goodmanston (Goodneston, Godewynston) were separate manors but appear to have been held by the same persons from c. 1368. The first to hold both manors, Robert de Nottingham, resided at Bayford and dated several of his deeds "apud castellum suum de Bayford, apud Goodneston". From this it may be conjectured that the capital residence was at Bayford manor whilst the Goodmanston Manor House became derelict and the manor itself lost much of its separate identity. The association of Bayford Castle (presumably Goodmanston manor house site) with the date 893 would appear to stem from Camden and to have no basis in fact. There is no trace of this manor-house, the area having been worked for brick-earth and later dumped on. The Danish Castle, called "castle rough", remains at Kemsley downs, just by Milton church. Alfred threw up a fortification on the other side of the water, the ditches and some part of the stone-work of which remained, named Bavord Castle or Bayford, a manor near Sittingburn (Camden). In 893 Hasten came up the Thames to Milton. There he made a stronghold to accommodate at least eighty ships. Castle Rough on Kemsley Downs is too small to have accommodated his men and there is no place for ships. Hasted stated that Castle Rough on the west was built by Hasten, and another Castle Rough on the east of the creek was built by Alfred some time afterwards; for the last there is no evidence, for the first the evidence is contrary. Bayford Castle, Sittingbourne; nothing remains of this "castle", and probably it was mainly a moat-defended enclosure. Bayford Court may have been identical with Bayford Castle, and we cannot but conclude that mystery attaches to the exact spot occupied by the castle (Spurell; Gould). (Kent HER)

Saxton's 1580 plan shows a partial moat with the caption 'the castle ruffe - the Ssite of the manor of Goodmanston in the tenor of John Catlet calle ye castle ruffe'
There seems to be confabulation and confusion between Bayford Castle, Bayford Court and, to slightly lesser extent, Castle Rough.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
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.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:30

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact