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Lulworth Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Poyning's Castle; Lullewarde; Lullewarden; Lolleworth; Loleworhe; Lulleworda; Est Lilleworth

In the civil parish of East Lulworth.
In the historic county of Dorset.
Modern Authority of Dorset.
1974 county of Dorset.
Medieval County of Dorset.

OS Map Grid Reference: SY855821
Latitude 50.63912° Longitude -2.20873°

Lulworth Castle has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle.

There are no visible remains.


Castle is documented at West Lulworth 1146 when it was taken by the Earl of Gloucester. (PastScape–ref. King map reference SY8381)

The goodly maner place of the Newborowes, lords of Est Lilleworth, is hard by the paroch chirch. (Leland)

The site of the C12 castle is not known. There is nothing in Malmesbury's Chronicle to suggest it was in West Lulworth. The Grade 1 listed hunting lodge of 1610 now bearing the name of Lulworth Castle (SY855821), is close to the parish church of St Andrew and may well be the site of the medieval manor house of East Lulworth and is a possible site for the C12 castle and is sometimes suggested as the site of a late medieval masonry castle (It is even suggested the C17 house follows the form and foundations of this castle with comparison made to Nunney Castle). Hutchin recorded foundations being dug up near the west end of the church and supposed these might be the Newborough's manor house.

A medieval manor house existed in Lulworth Camp beside a lost chapel of ease or church, confusingly, also dedicated to St Andrew (see PastScape no. 455589.
Lulworth St Andrew, anciently a manor, but now only a farm, was mentioned circa 1288 and 1303 and was probably one of the "Lolowordes" mentioned in Domesday (Hutchin p. 377-8).
St Andrew's Farm (SY 836810), mentioned by Strode circa 1628, and so called from 'a church which stood there dedicated to St Andrew'. Manor of 'Lulworth St Andrew' mentioned 1302, 1430 and 1502 (Miles). (PastScape no. 455588)

It may be argued that West Lulworth, beside Lulworth Cove, would be the more strategic place to have a castle. Bindon Abbey was founded in 1149, for Cistercian monks, by William de Glastonia (PastScape no. 455101 map reference SY83017986). There are possible examples of minor castle sites of Anarchy date being given as the base for a monastic foundation (ie. Bridlington; Trentham).

The Dorset Castles Research Group have undertaken investigation into three possible sites of Lulworth Castle (not necessarily the same as those suggested here) but the results are unknown to Gatehouse. Further information on this would be welcome. The given map reference, for the C17 Lulworth Castle, is given for convenience only.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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