Remains of Thurnham Castle
|Type||Motte and bailey|
|Owner||Kent County Council|
It is a 12th-century flint-built castle constructed by Robert of Thurnham in the reign of Henry II on a hill on the edge of the North Downs. One side of the bailey wall still stands 10 foot high and originally it enclosed an area of about a quarter of an acre. There is no visible stonework on the large motte.
In the 12th century, the site belonged to the de Say family and then the Thurnhams. The sons of the builder, Stephen Thurnham and his younger brother Robert Thurnham crusaded with Richard the Lionheart and became trusted subjects, with Robert given command of the English fleet and later made governor of Cyprus, while his brother Stephen was given the honour of escorting the Queen Mother. A charter in 1215 mentions the lands within the walls of the castle. By the early 19th century it was in ruins.
The site has been acquired by Kent County Council and included in the White Horse Millennium wood and Country Park Project. Much of the site has been cleared of undergrowth and public access has been provided.
- Fry, Plantagenet Somerset, The David & Charles Book of Castles, David & Charles, 1980. ISBN 0-7153-7976-3
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