KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 86  1971  page 111
Eynsford Castle and its Excavation. 
By S. E. Rigold, M.A., F.S.A., F.R.Hist.S.
These webpages are designed to be viewed with the screen resolution set at 800 x 600 and text size at normal. HOW TO

most recently by Professor Du Boulay.5  This was in Archbishop Dunstan's time, when the possessions of the chapter were not fully distinguished from those of the archbishop and his familia. Subsequently, it was stolen, and then recovered by Archbishop Lanfranc,6 who kept the territorial lordship for himself and left the advowson to the monks. It is more germane to the Castle to ask when and from whom it was recovered. It was not by the famous plea at Penenden in 1075,7 nor by a similar action three or four years later.8 Nevertheless, the culprit was probably Odo, whose tenures are still very thick in this part of Kent in the time of Domesday, with his tenants and those of the see closely interlocked in what looks like a compromise order. Lanfranc persisted and his latest opportunity to make Odo disgorge, and the most likely one for the recovery of Eynsford, is his arrest and temporary eclipse in 1082. In Domesday, Eynsford seems already to have the extent that marked it out as the caput of a barony that was to last until the Reformation held not in chief but of the archbishop. Nevertheless, the knighthood of the see had not then been fully organized, as it had by 1093-1096,9 and not improbably before Lanfranc died in 1089. The barony then appears in final form, the largest lay tenure, assessed at 7 knight's fees.
   There is no mention of a castle in Domesday. When the material for this was collected, c. 1085, the archbishop's tenant was Half, son of Unspac, or Hospac, ancestor of the line which took its name from Eynsford and held it in unbroken male succession, through five generations, all called William, until 1231. Brief accounts of the family have been given by the late Professor Douglas,10 by Mr. Colvin,11 by Professor Du Boulay12 and by Dr. Urry.13 All these contain, or repeat, minor errors, and Professor Du Boulay introduces a new confusion by a too literal reading of a deposition made in 1261,14 which ascribes, wrongly but understandably after more than a century, the surname 'Goram' or 'Gurham', properly of William II, to William I: all other evidence indicates that by 'William, the first lord', called
   5  F. B. H. Du Boulay, The Lordship of Canterbury, London, 1966, 33-5.
   Ibid., 42.
   'Ibid., 37.
   Ibid., 38.
   9  Domesday Monachorum, ed. D. C. Douglas (1944), 106.
  10  Ibid., 44-7.
  11  H. M. Colvin, 'The Archbishop of Canterbury's Tenants by Knight-service', Medieval Kentish Society, Kent Records, xviii (1964), 16, etc., does not enlarge on the genealogy but discusses the extent of the barony. There is no trouble about its member in Topsfleld, Essex, which was attached to an archiepiscopal holding in Hadleigh, and not the part of Topsfleld which was of the Honor of Boulogne. 
  12  Op. cit. in note 6, 108-10.
  13  W. Urry, Canterbury under the Angevin Kings, London., 1967, esp. 54r-5. The main concern is with urban tenures in Canterbury, not connected with the barony of Eynsford.
  14  Lambeth MS. 1212, 417; see note 12.

Previous Page       Back to Page listings       Next page

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society   click here

Back the Contents page   Back to Arch. Cant. List   Back to Publications On-line  Back to Research Page  Back to Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
Kent Archaeological Society January 2011

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so
 that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too research@kentarchaeology.org.uk