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

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 86  1971  page 123
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

   The easy but protected entrance of the second phase befits the enclosure's new status as an inhabited bailey instead of a quasi-motte. The flintwork, the detail, in Roman tile with a little roughly squared greensand, and the whole logic of the structures indicate that the hall-block, the heightening of the curtain and the entrance and gate-tower are of one construction. The hall, which Cresy envisaged as a three-storey keep, was not a great tower but a normal first-floor hall and the defence remained in the curtain, which now mastered the whole lower floor and some 2 m. of the tipper. The floor level of the upper storey, of which nothing remains, can be deduced by completing the extrados of the arches that supported it across the centre (Fig. 7) and from the garderobes that were built on top of the northern reinforcement (a) and which must have served the solar of the hall-block, via a bridge.

The Hall
   The hall-block, though not a 'keep', is a building of some strength, lighted only by narrow loops on the ground-floor, even in the part intended for habitation. The best preserved is turned in Roman tile; all have a steep internal downward splay. The most 'keep-like' detail, the porch-turret, or forebuilding in the narrower sense (l), covering the entrance to the first-floor hall, is an early addition, and so, surprisingly, is the stone base of the external staircase (m), parallel with, but not attached to, the south front of the block, suggesting a gentle staircase, perhaps largely of timber, unprotected at its foot, but apparently with a pair of entrance-arches, separated by a trumeau. When the porch-turret was built, it was linked to the staircase by a wall containing a door (n), which was subsequently blocked and the whole forebuilding-complex enlarged by a projection along the front. This and other, probably thirteenth-century, additions will be discussed together below. The hall-block, with its early extensions, which hardly differ in masonry from the original, will be treated as a unity.
   Apart from the stairway (m) and the gap between it and the porch-turret (n) which could at first have been spanned by a drawbridge, the undercroft-level comprises three cells, which were almost certainly repeated on the upper floor—that in the porch-turret and two in the hall-block proper. The longer and eastern of these was under the hall itself, since the stair and porch-turret indicate an entrance at the east end of the south wall. The western cell, which has no communication with the other at undercroft-level, is assumed to underlie the solar, or inner chamber, which in turn would have had access to the garderobes on the northern thickening of the curtain. All three cells had very high ceilings for undercrofts (Fig. 7): this is still apparent, even though the floor levels now displayed represent a raising in the thirteenth

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