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Preston Castle, Lancashire

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Preston.
In the historic county of Lancashire.
Modern Authority of Lancashire.
1974 county of Lancashire.
Medieval County of Lancashire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SD52303009
Latitude 53.76497° Longitude -2.72507°

Preston Castle, Lancashire has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are no visible remains.


The site of a Motte and Bailey castle, which went out of use by 1123. The mound was levelled in 1855. A circular mound with a basal diameter of about 125ft standing upon the extremity of a projecting cliff at Ashton. A semi-circular ditch detached the nose of the promontory from the mainland, suggesting the crescentic form of bailey. (PastScape)

A circular mound with a basal diameter of about 125 ft stood upon the extremity of a projecting cliff at Ashton, within the grounds of Tulketh
Hall. A semi-circular ditch detached the nose of the promontory from the mainland, suggesting the crescentric form of bailey. These remains existed until 1855 but were later destroyed, and the site is now much excavated and built over. At whatever time the castle was constructed, it would have ceased to be in use for military purposes in 1123. In that year the site was given to thirteen Cistercian monks to settle there. (PastScape ref. VCH)

Stephen Count of Boulogne, afterwards king, in 1123 gave Tulketh to the Abbot of Savigny to found an abbey of his order there; Simeon of Dur. Opera. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 267. The monks resigned it in 1127 on going to Furness. (VCH 1912)

Tulketh was a fraction of the small manor of Ashton one a several manors in the parish of Preston. It does not seem to have been able to supported a castle or a small monastic foundation so their are real questions as to how a castle came to be founded here in the first place. The VCH does suggest the site had some natural strength and strategic value in controlling the River Ribble (in combination with the castle at Penwortham which is mentioned in Domesday) and certainly this castle would seem likely to have a C11 foundation (unless it represented a strengthening of an existing site). Was the Ribble an early boundary in the Norman conquest of Lancashire and Cumbria (it was certainly a boundary used in Domesday under the latin name of Ripam) and was this motte actually built as a military base rather than as an administrative centre making it a rare example of what was supposedly the 'classic' (i.e. Armitage; Allen Brown) castle story? Whatever the origin with the boundary of England moving north and without an income to support it this small castle became redundant and could readily be given away.
This is an important object lesson in castle dating? were it not for the documentary evidence of the foundation of an abbey here in 1123 this site would have probably been given the 'standard' date of The Anarchy (i.e, 1130s-40s)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:30

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