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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1344198



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Shepway

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Saltwood

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 27-Aug-1952

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 175639

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



4/61 Saltwood Castle 27.8.52 GV I

Castle. Largely ruinous. Core of inner curtain wall C12 (or possibly C11). Rest C12, C13 and C14. Late C14 work by Archbishop Courtenay. 1385 extension to gatehouse attributed to Henry Yevele (Harvey, in M. Wood, The English Medieval House, 1981 edition). Restoration and additions of 1880s by F. Beeston, and by Philip Tilden in 1930s. Ragstone. Roughly triangular outer bailey surrounded by curtain wall, with circular bastions and with north-west barbican. Roughly oval inner bailey impinges into south-west corner of triangle, incorporating rectangular bastions and garderobe towers, east gate-tower and ruins of principal domestic buildings. These last comprise walls of a first- floor hall which used south wall of bailey as its long south wall; outline of a further range including porch, to west of it, also parallel to wall; to west of this, abutting bailey wall at right-angles, another first-floor hall, rebuilt by Tilden; and bases of walls of a chapel adjoining north-west corner of second hall at right-angles, almost abutting west curtain wall and, with second hall, enclosing small garden in south-west corner of bailey. Vestigial evidence of other inner bailey buildings abutting north curtain wall. Inner bailey: curtain walls: complete. 2 rectangular garderobe towers projecting outwards to northand west. 2 larger rectangular towers projecting into the inner bailey, one close to each garderobe tower with pilaster buttresses to outside of curtain wall. Pointed-arched doorway to base of each. 2 rectangular towers projecting beyond curtain wall to south, both with (possibly inserted) lancets; that towards west end lying to south of the second first-floor hall, possibly serving as, or adapted to, solar, and incorporating stairs between hall, "solar" and rampart walks. Small moulded pointed-arched window between stairs and hall, possibly late C14. Tower towards east end with staircase leading to rampart walk and also to landings, with 2 pointed-arched doorways and windows to each of first and second floors of former range to west of first (east) hall. Garderobe within wall thickness. Apparent gateway, blocked, to east of centre of tower, with secondary, squinted, access from west end of hall. East hall: late C13 or early C14. Battered plinth. 3 ground-floor windows to north with almost rounded heads, morticed for bars. 3 pointed-arched first-floor windows to north, 3 to south and one to-east, with restored cusped intersecting tracery and hoodmoulds with label-stops. Internal hoodmoulds with roll-and-fillet moulding linked to blank arcading between windows. Similarly-moulded continuous string linking cills. Corbels for hall floor. Pointed-arched doorway to west end of north wall. West hall: first floor largely by Tilden in a C14 style, formerly late C14, over possibly C13 undercroft. Chamfered stone plinth continuous with that to late C14 chapel ruins to west. Moulded stone string below former parapet or battlements. 2-storey rectangular "porch" to north end of east wall with access to undercroft and via stone steps to hall. 4-centred arched doorway to hall, with broach stops, to south end of west wall, up flight of external stone steps from garden. Plain-chamfered pointed- arched north doorway with broach stops to undercroft. Undercroft: down 8 steps. 8 narrow bays. Pointed-arched tunnel vault with plain-chamfered ribs dying into walls. Chapel: late C14. East end of south wall remains almost to full height. Ogee, moulded trefoil-headed piscina to first floor with pointed- arched doorway to west of it leading to first-floor passage corbelled out in re-entrant angle between chapel and hall. Fragment of moulded stone cornice to ground-floor room of chapel. East gatehouse: West section: probably late C13 or early C14, with C19 additions to east and west. Rectangular. 4 low storeys. Battlemented. One rectangular west window to each storey. Window in place of former west gateway. C19 sections 2 low storeys, battlemented, with stone mullioned and transomed windows. East section: late C14. Built out over former moat. Close-set circular twin towers of 2 tall stages, rising above earlier tower. Each has chamfered stone plinth, chamfered string between stages and moulded string beneath battlements. Deep machicolations to battlemented central section. Restored trefoil-headed lancets to each tower. 2 trefoil-headed lancets under machicolations and one C15 six-light stone mullioned and transomed window with hoodmould to each of 2 upper floors. Pointed-arched plain-chamfered gateway set in shallow rectangular recess, up 8 steps, between towers. Shields with arms of Archbishop Courtenay and Canterbury above recess. Rectangular garderobe towers to rear (west) of twin towers, discharging into former moat and connected to earlier west section of gatehouse. Interior: only partly inspected. 2-bay vault to west section with broad chamfered ribs dying into walls. Portcullis grooves. Quadripartite vault to east section with moulded ribs, springing from wall shafts with moulded capitals and bases. Hexagonal guard-rooms. Garderobe shutes remain. Outer bailey: virtually continuous late C14 curtain wall with 3 circular bastions. Fourth bastion, to south-west, and part of south curtain wall, formerly linked to rest and to inner bailey wall but now separate (see Item 4/ ). Barbican to north-west side of bailey. Rectangular. Most of upper storey missing. Ground floor spanned by three arches, those towards centre and west with portcullis grooves. Chamfered 4-centred arches with broach stops to outer west east faces. Castle formerly moated. Probably ruined by earthquake in 1580. Owned alternately by Christchurch, Canterbury and by lay owners. Murder of Thomas a Becket said to have been planned here (1170). Scheduled Ancient Monument (uninhabited parts). See also Item 4/62. (Country Life 20.11.1942, 27.11.42 and 4.12.42. J. Newman, B.O.E. Series North-East and East Kent, 1983)

Listing NGR: TR1617635915

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Newman, J, The Buildings of England: North East and East Kent, (1983)
Wood, E , The English Medieval House, (1965)
'Country Life' in 27 November, (1942)
'Country Life' in 20 November, (1942)
'Country Life' in 4 December, (1942)

National Grid Reference: TR 16174 35915


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End of official listing