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Coldred Court

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Shepherdswell With Coldred.
In the historic county of Kent.
Modern Authority of Kent.
1974 county of Kent.
Medieval County of Kent.

OS Map Grid Reference: TR27474757
Latitude 51.18208° Longitude 1.25338°

Coldred Court has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are uncertain remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The monument includes the earthworks and interior area of an early Norman ringwork, along with its bailey or outer ward. To the north-west of the modern road that bisects the remains is the ringwork itself, defined on two-thirds of its boundary by massive earthworks comprising a bank up to 2.5m in height and a ditch on the outside as much as 2m deep. On this side of the road a number of farm buildings, some medieval in date, have been constructed over the position of the former earthworks. In this area would have stood the main residential buildings, along with a chapel which has continued in use as the parish church. On the south-east side of the road is the bailey area in which ancillary buildings such as stables, workshops and soldiers' accommodation would have been sited. Here the bank attains maximum dimensions of 14m in width and over 3m in height while the ditch reaches a maximum depth of nearly 4m. Towards the road on the north-east side, the ditch has been partially infilled by soil from the bank, but here a low outer bank is also visible. In 1086 the manor of Coldred was in the hands of the powerful Odo, Bishop of Bayeux and Earl of Kent, but he was dispossessed of it soon afterwards having been disgraced for raising an unauthorised army for a foreign expedition. Within the protected area are two excluded areas, one a chalk quarry, as defined by the quarry fences, and the other the church of St Pancras and churchyard as defined by the churchyard fence. (Scheduling Report)

VCH classifies this earthwork as possibly Romano-British; Crawford says it is unlikely to be prehistoric and is possibly Medieval. Hasted gives a plan showing it as a waisted oval bisected by the road with Coldred Church in the NW half and a 'mount' in the SE half; he also records the discovery of a well at approx. TR 27474757. The work is situated in a poor defensive position on a broad flat-topped ridge at a height of 370ft and has been extensively mutilated by quarrying and the construction of farm buildings of Coldred Court. The NW half surrounding Coldred Church, a small two-celled early Norman building, consists of a strong rampart and V-shaped ditch. The SE half is of much more massive proportions with a U-shaped ditch and a slightly raised inner area. The two halves are off-set from one another and appear to be separate works. At Domesday the manor of Coldred was possessed by Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. Four years later he was disgraced and his possessions, including Coldred, were confiscated. The earthwork is probably therefore, a much mutilated castle mound with a small church in the bailey. The short life may account for the lack of tradition or documentary evidence. (PastScape)

Although isolated from settlement the name suggests this was a manorial centre and a church is next to the site. Site halfway between Shepherdswell and Coldred.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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