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Kirby Muxloe Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Kerby

In the civil parish of Kirby Muxloe.
In the historic county of Leicestershire.
Modern Authority of Leicestershire.
1974 county of Leicestershire.
Medieval County of Leicestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK52340456
Latitude 52.63663° Longitude -1.22723°

Kirby Muxloe Castle has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.

Description

The standing and buried remains of a quadrangular castle and its associated leat and outlet channel. The manor of Kirby Muxloe was owned by the Pakeman family during C14 and the foundations of the hall of their stone-built manor house, constructed within a moat, are visible in the courtyard of the quadrangular castle which replaced it in C15. The foundations of the buttery, pantry and passage to the kitchen remain visible. In circa 1460 Kirby Muxloe Castle passed to the Hastings family through inheritance. Sir William Hastings undertook extensive building programmes at his residences in Leicestershire. Although a licence to crenellate was obtained in 1474, work did not begin at Kirby Muxloe until 1480. The earlier hall was initially retained but demolished later in order to use the stone for the foundations of the new buildings. In 1483, following the death of Edward IV, William Hastings was beheaded by the new monarch, Richard III, at which time Kirby Muxloe Castle stood incomplete and the site was abandoned shortly afterwards. The external dimensions of the site are 110m north east-south west by 90m north west-south east. The water filled moat arms are up to 21m wide and the inner face is revetted in brick. The moat is fed by a 110m long leat which connects with the stream to the south of the castle. The moated island is rectangular in plan and measures 80m by 60m. Although Kirby Muxloe Castle was never completed, the standing remains provide evidence for the layout of the site. Most of the foundations had been laid, the gatehouse largely built, and the western tower wholly built when work was brought to an abrupt halt by the execution of the owner. Except for the stone dressings, it has been constructed throughout in brick and is one of a group of early brick buildings in the Midlands. It is clear from accounts of the time that the towers were intended to carry artillery. (PastScape)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1474 April 17 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Comments

The intended presence of artillery (the pieces would have been small) should not led to a false conclusion that this house was intended as a fortress, such weapons would have been an impressive display of status and wealth. They would certainly have put some caution into the actions of a mob of unarmoured local tenants but an army of soldiers would have not been deterred.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
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Air Photos > 
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Photos >
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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.
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.
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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 15/07/2016 10:56

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