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Southwold Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Southwold.
In the historic county of Suffolk.
Modern Authority of Suffolk.
1974 county of Suffolk.
Medieval County of Suffolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TM507763
Latitude 52.32823° Longitude 1.67863°

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

There are no visible remains.


Richard de Clare was granted a licence to build a castle at Southwold in 1259. It is not known whether it was started. (PastScape)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1259 Nov 7 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


A 'castle' of some form may have been built but is likely, given the lack of later evidence, to have been small and relatively domestic. The manor had just been obtained from Simon, Abbot of St. Edmunds in exchange for Mildenhall. The licence may have functioned as a legal and royal confirmation of this exchange. Site not known but possibly on site of C18 manor house at TM506762 or lost to coastal erosion. The manor and, presumably the manor house, became vested in the king in 1495 and may well have been given to the borough when this was incorporated in 1504. There was a major fire which destroyed considerable parts of the town, including the town hall and prison, in 1659. Whatever remained of the medieval manor house including any work by Richard de Clare would then have been thoroughly robbed to help with town reconstruction.
Given the origin as a monastic holding it seems likely the manorial centre was close to the church at given map reference.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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