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Allington Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Alington; Alintona

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

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ75205791
Latitude 51.29347° Longitude 0.51142°

Allington Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are major building remains.

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


The 1st castle on the site was a moated mound built by William de Warenne. In the C12 further building took place to the north of this, but this castle was 'overthrown' in 117+, and a small manor house built on the site. Portions of both these constructions were incorporated in the subsequent Castle. The present building was erected by Stephen de Penctester, or Penshurst, between 1279 and 1299 and continued by his son-in-law and successor Sir Henry de Cobham in the early C14. It was altered by Sir Henry Wyatt after 1492. It was forfeited to the Crown in 1554 at Sir Thomas Wyatt's rebellion. It subsequently became 2 farm houses and eventually fell into ruins, from which is was rescued by Lord Conway who, with his architect W D Caroe, thoroughly restored the Castle between 1905 and 1929. It is a square fortified country house consisting of buildings ranged round the inside of the courtyard with a curtain wall connecting them and semi-circular towers facing the moat which connects with the Medway. In the south-west corner is Solomn's Tower of 4 storeys, which is larger than the other towers. In the north-west corner is the Gatehouse with restored machicolation and battlements, and iron-studded mediaeval double doors, approached by a barbican and stone bridge over the moat. The lower portions of the Gatehouse date from the C12 manor house. The wing which divides the courtyard in half was built by Sir Henry Wyatt and contained a long gallery, which was probably one of the 1st long galleries in England to be constructed. This was later destroyed but was restored by Lord Conway. Sir Henry Wyatt added the timber-frame buildings in the south-east corner of the Castle which were the kitchen and offices. Them are of 2 storeys and attic, the ground and 1st floors being of stone with 2 timbered gables above, rendered and overhanging on bressumers with moulded bargeboards and pendants and 1 gabled dormer. Casement windows with small square leaded panes. Sir Henry Wyatt also altered most of the windows of the Castle. His Son Sir Thomas Wyatt, the poet, was born here in 1503. The latter's son, Sir Thomas Wyatt, also lived here till his insurrection in 1554. Henry VII visited the Castle in Sir Henry Wyatt's time; Henry VIII in 1527, 1530 and 1536; also Cardinal Wolsey in 1527 and Catherine Parr in 1544. (Listed Building Report)

A square fortified country house with a moat connecting to the River Medway. The first castle on the site is believed to have been a motte and bailey constructed between 1135 and 1154. This was demolished by Henry II, having been erected without royal licence. Subsequently a small unfortified manor house was built on the site. The present structure was erected by Stephen de Penchester between 1279 and 1299, with further alterations and additions in the early 14th century and after 1492. It was forfeited to the crown in 1554 at Sir Thomas Wyatt's rebellion, subsequently becoming two farmhouses. Eventually falling into ruins, it was restored between 1905 and 1929 by Lord Conway and his architects W. D. Caroe and Philip Tilden. The site was sold to the Carmelite Order in 1951 and was home to a community of friars for a number of years, by the early years of the 21st century it was in private ownership. Allington Castle currently comprises a series of buildings ranged around the inside of the courtyards with a curtain wall connecting them and with semi-circular towers facing the moat. In the south west corner is Solomon's Tower which, at four storeys, is taller than the other towers. The restored gatehouse, approached by barbican and stone bridge over the moat, is in the north west corner. The lower portions of the gatehouse date from the 12th century. (PastScape)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1281 May 23 (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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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

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