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Ilton Castle, Malborough

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Hilton; Yedilton

In the civil parish of Malborough.
In the historic county of Devonshire.
Modern Authority of Devon.
1974 county of Devon.
Medieval County of Devon.

OS Map Grid Reference: SX72564042
Latitude 50.24899° Longitude -3.78979°

Ilton Castle, Malborough has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The earthwork remains of a deserted medieval settlement, a quadrangular castle, an associated garden and two fishponds. The western part of the settlement contains the earthworks of at least 13 small rectangular buildings. The eastern part lies on the north side of the valley and includes at least 3 small buildings and a hollow way. Cultivation terraces lie along the north and south sides of the site and several 18th century watermeadow leats cut across the earthworks, with a pond attached to one of them. The castle was documented in 1335 and stood on a terrace towards the east end of the site. A description of 1780, made when the walls were demolished, states that it was sub-rectangular with square corner towers. The earthwork terraces of an extensive formal garden lie to the east, west and north of the castle. 2 large fishponds once lay south of the castle site. One survives as an earthwork but the other is now buried beneath a modern farmstead. These ponds were used as an ornamental lake. (PastScape–ref. Scheduled Monument Notification)

A medieval quadrangular castle was licenced to John de Cheverston in 1335 and stood on a terrace towards the east end of the monument. The terrace measures 30 metres east to west by 25 metres north to south. A description made when the castle walls were demolished in 1780, states that it was sub-rectangular with square towers at the corners. Slight earthworks show the positions of the towers and parchmaks confirm its location. (Devon and Dartmoor HER ref. Schedule Document)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1335 Sept 10 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


The local farmer reported very little stone turned up on ploughing when the site was investigated in 1987 (PastScape–Field Investigators Comments-F1 MJF 27-JAN-87) suggesting the castle has been very effectively demolished and the stone totally quarried away. This may also suggest the castle was not particularly thick walled. By 1335 square towers are, supposedly, a feature of northern enclosure castles, with southern castles having round towers but this site shows the dangers of such assumption based on a relatively few surviving castles.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:52

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