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Author Topic: Thurnham Castle  (Read 6968 times)

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medwayboy

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Re: Thurnham Castle
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2010, 22:36:22 »
Had a drive up there today and loved the incredible view......  Goats are there at the moment..... 


Offline Riding With The Angels

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Re: Thurnham Castle
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2009, 21:05:06 »
Oh rest assured it is - unless they are north of the there of course! Any other direction is fine.

Offline kyn

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Re: Thurnham Castle
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2009, 08:23:38 »
That is something that ran through our minds whilst there, a great place to watch a storm  :)

Offline Riding With The Angels

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Re: Thurnham Castle
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 23:55:24 »
Under the care of English Heritage it's one of the sites on their rotational placement of Soay Sheep as would have been around in medieval times. They are used to keep the grass down.

Its a great place for storm watching. I have got very wet here videoing and photographing storms and the drive up the hill thought the debris from the trees and embankments is horendous in the torential rain but it is a great place to observe the storms from.

Offline kyn

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Re: Thurnham Castle
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2009, 22:07:56 »
Excellent, thankyou  :)

Offline unfairytale

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Re: Thurnham Castle
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 21:51:10 »
When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/unfairytale/sets/

Offline kyn

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Thurnham Castle
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 21:05:12 »
Thurnham Castle is a Norman motte and bailey castle, these were erected as garrison forts during the military offensive operations, usually as strongholds although some were built as residences for aristocrats or royal administration.  The history of this site is a mystery as the earliest mention of it is in a document dated 1225.  The castle has a circular earthwork which was the strongpoint of the castle and an adjacent bailey which was surrounded by high flint curtain walls and was accessed via a gatehouse.  The earthworks and bailey were separated by a deep ditch which has since been filled in.  The remains of this castle still sit upon a commanding position with excellent views across the Weald of Kent and over the villages of Thurnham and Detling and consist of a portion of the northern and western curtain wall, two ruined towers and the gatehouse which surrounded the bailey, where all the day-to-day work would take place.

The first owner of the castle is believed to have been Ralph de Courbepine and by the 12th century it belonged to his great grandson Stephen de Thurnham and later in the 14th century the manor was owned by the Northwood (Norwood?) family and then later still to Robert Corbie.

The castle is also often called Godards Castle, this nickname is believed to originate fro a Roman fortification believed to have existed here, it was founded by a Saxon of the name Godardis and was likely linked to the local Roman Villa.  This is what Hasted said about the castle in 1798:

Darell, in his treatise De Castellis Cantii, affirms, that this castle was founded by Godardus, a Saxon, from whom it took its name. Leland calls it the castle of Thorne, and says, it was in his time entirely a ruin. He says, "Sir John Cutte, under treasurer of England, bought of one Savelle, a main of fair lands in Yorkshire, then being in trouble, the lordship of Godhurste, with the ruins of a castle, (meaning this of Thurnham) standing about two miles from the banks of the Medway, and the like distance from Maidstone. 

Hasted also mentions that a great amount of foundations could still be seen and much of the flint that was the south wall could be found at the bottom of the quarry that had started to undermine the castle.  He states the walls were fourteen feet high and three feet thick.  Which is impressive when antiquarian John Leland commented on the castle in 1540 and said it was "now all clene ruine".

To the north of the castle remains is an open area where the remains of an Iron Age enclosure has been found, this settlement is believed to have been a seasonal encampment (I'm not surprised, the wind was fierce up there today!) and was likely to be surrounded by woods although it would still have had a breath taking view from atop the North downs.

Among the finds of an archaeological dig a Neolithic polished axe was found and also a Bronze Age scraper.



 

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