A comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales and the Islands.
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This confidence key is very much a guide and not a definitive statement. These classifications are not fixed and can and do change. It should also be born in mind that many authors, particularly older authorities like David Cathcart King, held a very military definition of the castle and some sites they rejected may actual fulfil other, less military definitions. This confidence guide is not a statement of how certain it is that a site existed but how certain it is that a site existed as a fortification or as otherwise described. The intent of Gatehouse is to record all sites that have ever been proposed as medieval fortifications including all those that have since been rejected.

It should be noted that David King's 'possible' sites, in Castellarium Anglicanum, tend to be closer to the questionable category in Gatehouse.


Gatehouse attempts to give some idea of the amount of visible remains. This information is based on second party site descriptions and may well be out of date or otherwise inaccurate. As with the confidence statement the remains statement refers to the proposed medieval fortification, it may be that contempory buildings or earthworks that are not defensive but which relate to fortification do survive.
The remains categories are;

Scheduling and listing

Gatehouse attempts to record the legal status of the sites recorded.

Scheduled monuments are those sites scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. These are often called Scheduled Ancient Monuments or SAMs although, since some scheduled sites may be of recent date, the 'Ancient' is omitted by careful users. For England the data in Gatehouse is derived from The National Heritage List for England and has a high degree of reliability. For Wales the data was derived from the CARN database, which is no longer available although the records are reasonable reliable. There is no online scheduled monument report database for Wales, although the available archaeological database records often quote from the scheduling reports.
It should be noted that Gatehouse records the legal status of the given location so the scheduling record may not well not mention the medieval history or remains of the site. (A bastle built with a Roman mile fort on Hadrian's Wall is unlikely to be mentioned in the scheduling record.)

Listed buildings are those building listed under Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 for special planning regulations under the three grades of:

Listed building are listed for their historical and architectural importance. Therefore listed building records often include something of the history of a location and because of this Gatehouse records listed buildings standing on the site of medieval building even if they don't have any apparent medieval remains.

For England the data in Gatehouse is derived from The National Heritage List for England and has a high degree of reliability. For Wales the available online record of listed buildings is a non searchable dataset within the RCHAMS website and the data was derived from an html table issued in response to a freedom of information request. As this was a manually done operation there may be omissions or other errors in the links to these records.

NB. Within the site descriptions listed building grades may be recorded in Roman numerical form (i.e. Grade II). For technical reasons the star (*) is not used within the writen description and is replaced with the word 'star'.

All Gatehouse records represent the state of available information at one particular time. Sites are investigated and reinterpreted, they change over time, get scheduled or descheduled, get added or removed from building lists etc.
Whilst Gatehouse does attempt to be accurate and up to date the resources available to Gatehouse are limited.
Gatehouse attempts to give links to the statutory authorities. Please check with these official record holders for accurate up to date statements of legal status etc.

Old print of Restormel Castle

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