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Astwell Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Astwell House

In the civil parish of Helmdon.
In the historic county of Northamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough.
Modern Authority of Northamptonshire.
1974 county of Northamptonshire.
Medieval County of Northamptonshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP60804407
Latitude 52.09165° Longitude -1.11396°

Astwell Castle has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


Manor house. C15 and early C17, restored 1958. Coursed squared limestone, plain tile roof except for left roof of gatehouse, brick ridge stacks. Gatehouse of former courtyard house, and double-depth house. Entrance front has 3-storey gatehouse to right with part-blocked chamfered doorway with 4-centred head to timber tympanum with ribbed panels and date 1638. First floor string course, and one 2-light stone arch mullion window with cusped head to lights to first and second floors, that to first floor with hood mould. Battlemented parapet with string course to base. Turret rising full height of building to left and second floor window similar to those to front. Rear elevation has similar first floor window with hood mould and similar blocked doorway. Hexagonal stair turret to left corner, rising above the rest of the building with blocked first floor door with 4-centred head. Single-storey link building to left of gatehouse has flat-arched doorway, a quatrefoil window to right of doorway and battlemented parapet with string course at base. House to left has 2 storeys and attic. C20 stone doorway with 4-centred head to left, a 2-light stone mullion window to right. 4-light arch mullion window to ground floor far right with cut spandrels and hood moulds, a similar window to first floor above and similar 3-light windows in twin stone-coped gables with kneelers. Blocked window to first floor above door. Left side has two 3-light arch mullion windows with hood moulds to ground and first floors and blocked central door with moulded stone surround and keyblock. Rear elevation has 5-light leaded C20 casement window to ground floor and 2- and 3-light casements to first and attic floors, all with timber lintels. The left range has a massive stone stack with 4 diagonal brick flues. Interior has chamfered spine beams and stone fireplaces with 4-centred heads one painted to resemble Purbeck marble with moulded jambs, cut spandrels, strapwork above openings and low stone overmantel with arms of the Lovetts and the Shirleys. The fortified manor house to which the existing gatehouse belonged was probably built by Thomas Lovett who exchanged the manors of Rushton and Great Oakley for those of Falcutt and Astwell in 1471. The daughter of the last Thomas Lovett of Astwell married Francis Shirley and their son George Shirley demolished most of the medieval manor house and built a new house beside the gatehouse, completed in 1606. The property was sold to Earl Temple of Stowe in 1763 when Astwell became a tenant farm and a large part of the house was demolished. In 1958 the building was restored for Mrs. Joan Wake. (Listed Building Report)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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