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The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
 
 
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Woodsford Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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

In the civil parish of Woodsford.
In the historic county of Dorset.
Modern Authority of Dorset.
1974 county of Dorset.
Medieval County of Dorset.

OS Map Grid Reference: SY75829037
Latitude 50.71246° Longitude -2.34382°

Woodsford Castle has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

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

Description

Surviving range of fortified manor house. C14 - licence to crenellate granted to William de Whitefield 1336. Roughly coursed rough ashlar walls. Thatched roofs, part hipped, part with coped gables. Originally first floor hall plan, over vaulted undercroft. Attic floor inserted in hall, floor levels altered, and roof rebuilt in C17. Possibly once formed a 3 or 4-sided courtyard house. At left end of main range a projecting C17 wing, of 3 storeys. In main range a chamfered string course at original first floor level. On ground floor, near left end, a ledged door in 4-centred arched opening, approached up a flight of stone steps, gives access to hall. Nearer right end, 2 similar doors at ground level, give access to service rooms in undercroft. Stone corbels above these, possibly for former pentice. Left of hall door, 2 slit windows. Right of it one slit window and a C17 four-light stone mullioned window. One slit window right of the lower doors. 2 C17 stone mullioned windows cut into the original string course. Right of these, above string course, 2 C14 mullioned and transomed. windows - one 2-light and one 1-light, with trefoiled lights. On present 3rd floor (above hall) 3 C17 mullioned windows with lead lights. At right end of main range a D-shaped stair turret, giving access to rooms at right end of building. External steps up to ledged door. Right of the main range a lower, 2-storeyed range, - probably servants' rooms. At right end of this, remains of former turret, with 4-centred arched opening. In this range a ledged door in 4-centred arched opening with slightly projecting surround. 2 slit windows on ground floor. On first floor, 2 mullioned and transomed windows, one 2-light and one 1-light, with trefoiled lights. In left (north) end wall, and in rear wall, a C14 window, 2-light mullioned and transomed window, upper lights ogee headed, lower lights shouldered arched. Various inserted C17 windows. Along rear wall, stone corbels at eaves level, probably for former parapet. Remains of turrets on this wall. Internally, ground floor vaulted throughout. Remains of large kitchen fireplace opening, with stone arch. Hall, at north end, has inserted ceiling, cutting off heads of original windows. Stone fireplace, with joggled lintel on moulded corbels. Off the hall at north east corner, a garderobe chamber, with chute, and wall basin. Spiral stairs to roof at north end of hall. 4-centred archway into stair hall - this, and adjoining bathroom the original chapel, with ogee arched piscina. Stone stairs in stair hall probably in original position. Solar, or Queen's room beyond chapel has squint into chapel. Rooms at south end unoccupied for a long period; largely unaltered except for changes of floor level. Several original door openings. A medieval house of considerable interest. (Listed Building Report)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1335 Oct 8 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

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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 11/05/2017 22:11:38

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