Preston Castle, Hertfordshire

Has been described as a Rejected Masonry Castle

There are no visible remains

NamePreston Castle, Hertfordshire
Alternative NamesCastle Farm
Historic CountryHertfordshire
Modern AuthorityHertfordshire
1974 AuthorityHertfordshire
Civil ParishPreston

'Castle Farm on site of Preston Castle' marked on OS 6" 1960. The OS states that 'nothing is known about the castle at the farm and no documentary evidence for it can be found. There are no traces of antiquity at the site. The farmhouse is 19th century, the outbuildings modern' (OS Records).

'Preston Castle (or Hunsdon House) is a house about which very little information is available. The name Preston Castle derives from Captain Robert Hinde, who built earthwork fortifications in the grounds and is said to be the original of Lawrence Sterne's Uncle Toby. An early 19C engraving shows that the house comprised two wings… the older east wing had details of about the middle of the 17C… behind was added a taller early 18C wing of six bays. Hinde provided the entire house with battlemented parapets of uniform height and cross-loops like those of a medieval castle. The whole was demolished in the 19C' (Smith). It was marked 'Castle Farm, on site of Preston Castle' (in archaic lettering) on (OS 1st ed. 6". 1884). The battlements and earthworks presumably dated to the early 18C; 'Uncle Toby' is a character in Sterne's mid 18C novel Tristram Shandy. (Hertfordshire HER)

Castle Farm is the alleged site of Preston Castle: however no evidence has been yet found at the site to support the theory. (PastScape were given monument type includes 'medieval castle')

Gatehouse Comments

On edge of village, seems possible manorial centre, but the 'castle' seems to be an C18 invention.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTL175251
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Smith, J.T., 1993, Hertfordshire Houses: Selective Inventory p. 144