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

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 86  1971  page 139
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 tentative reconstruction (Fig. 6, a) of the primary period 'W (after the full height had been achieved) incorporates as a demonstrable element, the tower in its sunken courtyard (boundary uncertain on the east), and in default of a better, the high-level entrance on the north. The little bretasches on the short lengths of curtain are speculations, but something of the sort is required in default of a wall-walk. The suggested construction of the tower is based on the earliest timber bell-towers45 and such details as the stair-base turret (?) at Rayleigh, Essex.46 From these are derived the tapering form and the strong cross-bracing, lap-jointed on the face, and shown exposed in the lower stage, though it would probably have been completely sheathed in vertical boarding. The jettied platform is consistent with the tapering outline and the roof has the authority of some of the motte-towers shown on the Bayeux Tapestry. The sole-plate (ee) seems to imply a near-vertical revetement to the yard.
   From Phase X, the character of the Castle changes to that of the inhabited inner bailey of a private domain, approached from the outer bailey, D, through the strong gate that remained in England, from Saxon times, the mark of armigerous status. In the reconstruction (Fig. 6, b) of Phase B, of which the essentials derive from X and Y, every element has some evidence, if not conclusive. The proportions of the Hall block are based on the longitudinal section (Fig. 7) which, though any error is more probably on the positive side, shows the great height of the undercroft and the form of the piers, both of which were examined and found to have doubly offset bases, dressed, like the quoins, in Roman tile. The hipped roof and at least one polygonal, spired chimney-top are demonstrable. The central hearth implies, in this case, probably a louver, and a single-span roof of great height, however low the lateral walls of the first floor were. Gabled lateral windows are a possibility, but the Lake House at Eastwell47 has been used to suggest the general proportions of the roof and disposition of lighting. The hourde is more generalized: it may not have survived at full length in the late phase, and may have been elaborated towards the acute angle, like the basically late thirteenth-century tower-gallery at Stoke-say, Salop, which suggested that the hourde was fairly completely boarded over externally. The relative cleanness and south-western aspect of the ground around the porch-tower may indicate a garden. How wet the moat was at any period is beyond conjecture, as the level and direction of the river is uncertain: it was not much lower, since the well only just breaches the present water-table and the moat could,
   45  As Brookland, Kent; Navestock, Essex; Pembridge, Herefs.
   46  Trans. Essex Arch. Soc., N.S., xii (1913), 159; of. D. P. Benn, Norman Castles in Britain, 86, fig. 1.
   47  Arch. Cant., lxxxiii (1968), 165-61.

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