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Folkingham Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Folkingham.
In the historic county of Lincolnshire.
Modern Authority of Lincolnshire.
1974 county of Lincolnshire.
Medieval County of Lincolnshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TF07443349
Latitude 52.88814° Longitude -0.40460°

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

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The only earthwork remains of a castle given by William the Conqueror to Gilbert de Ghent, which passed in about 1300 to the Beaumont family, by whom it was rebuilt. The castle was becoming ruinous by Leland's time and is said to have been destroyed during the Civil War. There remains an inner moat and some trace of the outer moat which would have enclosed about 10 acres.
A rectangular site surrounded by a deep ditch with outer bank, apparently there was once a larger outer bailey which has now gone. A House of Correction was built inside the castle in the early 19th century (see PRN 33759). The castle was built by Gilbert de Gaunt in the 11th century and became the property of the crown during the reign of Edward I. Edward II passed it on to Henry de Beaumont who became earl of Bagham. It then descended to lords Clinton (EH Scheduling Report).
Gilbert de Gand, one of the greatest landowners in Lincolnshire in 1086, owned the Manor of Folkingham. Whether he or his descendents built a castle here is uncertain, but no part of the present castle need be older than 1312, when Henry de Beaumont obtained a licence to defend his house. The castle returned to royal ownership in 1507 but later became part of the Earl of Lincoln's estates. In 1808 a House of Correction was built within the moat of the castle and subsequently many additions were made (see PRN 33759). John Leland recorded in 1535 that 'it hath bene a goodly house, but now it fallith al to ruine'. The castle stood on a rectangular island surrounded by a moat, and a larger moat lay outside that, enclosing a large area to the west. The original entrance lay on the west side also. To the north is another earthwork, rectangular in shape and with a pond at one end. It may have been a garden or orchard as at Sleaford Castle. Like Sleaford and Bolingbroke castles, Folkingham castle avoids the higher ground to the north and south in order to use the waters of a stream to fill the moats. Nothing of the internal arrangements of the castle can now be made out (White, 1983).
The long rectangular enclosure to the north of the castle, with a pond at its east end, is likely to have been a medieval pleasaunce. The castle's site is not naturally strong, but takes advantage of water defences rather than utilising hills (Pevsner, 1989).
Earthwork remains of the castle, including the moat, ringwork and bailey as well as associated features such as ponds and boundaries can be seen on aerial photographs.
In about 1830, "many large stones and other remains of the castle" were dug up, and in 1813 a stone gutter or sewer about 3 feet square was discovered. Various brass and copper coins have also been found at the castle site, and "numerous foundations" seen. There is a tradition that the Manor House (PRN 36981) was built using materials from the castle (White 1856). (Lincolnshire HER)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1312 April 26 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:49

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