Monument record MLI30067 - Folkingham Castle


Folkingham Castle

Type and Period (6)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

PRN 30067 [Note - this record includes PRNs 36355, 33758 and 33751, now deleted.] The only earthwork remains of a castle given by William the Conqueror to Gilbert de Ghent, which passed in about 1300 to the Beaumont family, by whom it was rebuilt. The castle was becoming ruinous by Leland's time and is said to have been destroyed during the Civil War. There remains an inner moat and some trace of the outer moat which would have enclosed about 10 acres. {1}{2}{3}{4}{5}{6} A rectangular site surrounded by a deep ditch with outer bank, apparently there was once a larger outer bailey which has now gone. A House of Correction was built inside the castle in the early 19th century (see PRN 33759). The castle was built by Gilbert de Gaunt in the 11th century and became the property of the crown during the reign of Edward I. Edward II passed it on to Henry de Beaumont who became earl of Bagham. It then descended to lords Clinton. {7} Gilbert de Gand, one of the greatest landowners in Lincolnshire in 1086, owned the Manor of Folkingham. Whether he or his descendents built a castle here is uncertain, but no part of the present castle need be older than 1312, when Henry de Beaumont obtained a licence to defend his house. The castle returned to royal ownership in 1507 but later became part of the Earl of Lincoln's estates. In 1808 a House of Correction was built within the moat of the castle and subsequently many additions were made (see PRN 33759). John Leland recorded in 1535 that 'it hath bene a goodly house, but now it fallith al to ruine'. The castle stood on a rectangular island surrounded by a moat, and a larger moat lay outside that, enclosing a large area to the west. The original entrance lay on the west side also. To the north is another earthwork, rectangular in shape and with a pond at one end. It may have been a garden or orchard as at Sleaford Castle. Like Sleaford and Bolingbroke castles, Folkingham castle avoids the higher ground to the north and south in order to use the waters of a stream to fill the moats. Nothing of the internal arrangements of the castle can now be made out. {9} The long rectangular enclosure to the north of the castle, with a pond at its east end, is likely to have been a medieval pleasaunce. The castle's site is not naturally strong, but takes advantage of water defences rather than utilising hills. {15} Earthwork remains of the castle, including the moat, ringwork and bailey as well as associated features such as ponds and boundaries can be seen on aerial photographs. {8}{10} In about 1830, "many large stones and other remains of the castle" were dug up, and in 1813 a stone gutter or sewer about 3 feet square was discovered. Various brass and copper coins have also been found at the castle site, and "numerous foundations" seen. There is a tradition that the Manor House (PRN 36981) was built using materials from the castle. {3}{11} A medieval military arrowhead was found near the castle (at TF 0720 3328 or TF 0760 3328) in 1970. {6}{12} A small gold shield-shaped object engraved with a lion was found at the castle in the 1860s. It may have been found during building works associated with the House of Correction. {13} Gilbert de Ghent, later the Earl of Lincoln, built the castle on low lying ground to the south of the village close to the stream which was used to fill the castle’s defensive moat. The castle stood on a rectangular island surrounded by a moat encircled by a larger moat which enclosed a large area to the west where the original entrance lay, to the north was a garden or orchard with a pond. By 1535 the castle was described as being in a ruinous condition by the antiquarian John Leland and was eventually destroyed during the Civil War in the 17th century. The remains of the castle are still clearly visible in the landscape.{16}

Sources/Archives (15)

  •  Index: Ordnance Survey. Folkingham O.S. cards. FOLKINGHAM. TF 03 SE; 2.
  •  Article in Serial: 1861. Associated Architectural and Archaeological Societies’ Reports and Papers. pp 14-15.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William White. 1856. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire - Second Edition. pp 714-15.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: SIMPSON, E.M.. 1913. LINCOLNSHIRE. p 136.
  •  Index: Folkingham SMR cards. FOLKINGHAM. TF 03 SE; A, C.
  •  Scheduling Record: HBMC. 1960. AM 7. SAM 86.
  •  Aerial Photograph: 1945-84. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION. JG65-67; JE81-84.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: A.J. White. 1983. A VISITORS GUIDE: SIX LINCOLNSHIRE CASTLES.
  •  Map: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1992-1996. National Mapping Programme. TF 03 SE; TF0733; LI.823.1.1-7.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Edward Trollope. 1872. Sleaford and the Wapentakes of Flaxwell and Aswardhurn in the County of Lincoln. pp 510-11.
  •  Correspondence: City and County Museum. 1970. Letters about an arrowhead found near Folkingham castle. -.
  •  Correspondence: City and County Museum. 1979. Letters about a gold object found at Folkingham castle. -.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Money, Canon F.R.. 1985. A Walk-Round Guide to Folkingham Church and Village. pp 15-16.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Nikolaus Pevsner and John Harris, with Nicholas Antram. 1989. Buildings of England: Lincolnshire (Second Edition). p 283.



Grid reference Centred TF 0748 3356 (333m by 338m) Estimated from Sources

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

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Record last edited

Mar 21 2021 8:35PM


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