Abinger Castle

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Abinger motte

Abinger Castle is a mound that was topped by a small, fortified wooden castle during part of the 12th century at Abinger Common, between Guildford and Dorking in Surrey, England. The castle reached a fairly prominent vantage point with a half-panorama overlooking the two roads that diverge by the neighbouring church, having descended from the Leith Hill escarpments at the border of West Sussex.

History[edit]

It was built as a motte and bailey castle around 1100[1][2] and founded by William fitz Ansculf.[3] It was built of wood and remodelled in 1140. It had a longer life than most castles of this type, surviving until 1153.[4]

Surroundings[edit]

Manor[edit]

Equally at the start of the rise of land to the west of the core neighbourhood of the dispersed village is the manor house just 22 yards (20 m) south of the mound. This manor, recorded in the Domesday Book, was re-sited here in 1688 by major mid-south Surrey landowner and writer John Evelyn, rebuilt in 1872/3, using some old materials following a new design by Alfred Waterhouse and it is a listed building in the initial category, Grade II.[5]

Church[edit]

Approximately a firth of the size of the mound, St James's Church approximately 110 yards (100 m) east is just as with the castle of the early 12th century, according to the Victoria County History but the earliest current part is its chancel rebuilt circa 1220 and north chapel of similar date. Bombed in World War II, it was restored in 1950 by Frederick Etchells. It is listed in the mid-category, Grade II*.[6]

Mesolithic site[edit]

This very small, much smaller than the mound, Scheduled Ancient Monument is formed of the scant mesolithic remains of a dwelling site also on the western rise to Abinger Common, west of the manor.[7]

Research and remains[edit]

It was excavated by Dr Brian Hope-Taylor in 1949 when the sites of many of the postholes were found.[2] The central mound (motte) remains, suspected to be of approximately the same height as it originally was,[3] and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Scheduled Ancient Monument "Motte Castle at Abinger Manor" Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1012579)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b Fry, Plantagenet Somerset (1980). The David & Charles Book of Castles. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 176. ISBN 0-7153-7976-3.
  3. ^ a b "Abinger Motte". CastleUK.Net. Archived from the original on 3 January 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  4. ^ Johnson, Paul (1989). Castles of England, Scotland and Wales. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 13. ISBN 0-297-83162-3.
  5. ^ Abinger Manor Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1028827)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  6. ^ St James Church Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1378082)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  7. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1005927)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 October 2013.

grid reference TQ114460 Coordinates: 51°12′08″N 0°24′25″W / 51.20236°N 0.40686°W / 51.20236; -0.40686