The small but massive castle of Eynsford,
lying low beside the Darent at N.G.R. TQ 542658, was the Stammburg
of the greatest of the archbishop of Canterbury's knights.
Throughout this report, unless otherwise indicated, the
'Castle' must be understood to mean the flint-walled enclosure
within a broad but shallow moat, although this was, or became,
the inner bailey of a larger complex, not easy to define.
Apart from a survey and partial excavation in 1835, ably
recorded for the time by Edward Cresy,1 it was
little studied2 until the Society for the
Protection of Ancient Buildings, which had acquired it in
1937, at the instance of the tenant, Lady Fountain of Little
Mote, placed it, in September 1948, in the guardianship of the
then Ministry of Works.
The conservation proceeded slowly enough for the
writer to observe every stage and to conduct simultaneous
excavations with one labourer, or at rare intervals with more.
Most of the work was done between 1953 and 1961 and the
results, here modified in a few points, were summarized in
notes for Medieval Archaeology* and in the official
guidebook. Subsequently, particularly in 1966-1967, further
deep sections were made to verify earlier ones, and the bridge
was totally excavated: at this stage, the writer was greatly
assisted by Mr. D. C. Mynard, who also studied the pottery and
drew most of it. The long sections were completed in 1971,
with the help of Mr. J. Haslam, who worked further on the
finds. The plans and sections were finished by the
drawing-office staff of the Ministry, now Department of the
While this report was in preparation, a small
excavation, started by an accidental discovery in a garden
outside the guardianship area, has revealed a subsidiary
medieval building within a presumed outer bailey. Thanks to
the discoverers and to Mr. S. R. Harker, a summary of the
findings, to date, is appended. It is the first positive
contribution to our knowledge of the Castle's outworks.
* This paper has been
printed with the aid of a grant from the Department of the
1 Archaeologia, xxvii
2 H. Sands, in Some Kentish
Castles (1907, from Memorials of Old Kent), adds
little to Cresy.
3 Med. Arch., i (1967),
156-7; vi-vii (1962-1963), 322; ix (1965), 190.