Bayford Court

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Other/Unknown)

There are earthwork remains

NameBayford Court
Alternative Names
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityKent
1974 AuthorityKent
Civil ParishSittingbourne

Low banks extend from the church at Sittingbourne to Bayford Court which is surrounded by a moat, three sides of which remain. Bayford Court may be the fortress which the Danish army built at Middleton in 893. Castle Rough (TQ 96 NW 10) is usually said to be the site of the work, but its form is against this view, and it would seem probable that the lines of work about Bayford Court are more likely to have sheltered Hasten's men (VCH). The moat at Bayford Court is as described by Gould, water-filled but in poor condition. The enclosed area, now a kitchen garden, is full of building debris including flint and ragstone. The low banks shown by Gould are practically destroyed but do not appear to have been of any importance. The present Bayford Court is circa 1700 and later in external appearance but there is half-timbered work internally (F1 CFW 08-JUL-63). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Bayford Court seems to be a partial square moat with some slight earth banks that do not make any sort of defensive circuit (although they may represent flood defences). Spurell speculated this was the site of a Danish winter war camp. It may be in the C19 the waterways were somewhat different than now and that ships could be drawn up here (a vital characteristic of such camps) but the evidence for that seems slight. It should also be noted that Saxton's 1580 plan shows the moat about an orchard with the house outside the moat. There seems to be confabulation and confusion between Bayford Court, Bayford Castle (including in earlier pre 2012, version of this record) and, to slightly lesser extent, Castle Rough.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ911640
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Guy, John, 1980, Kent Castles (Meresborough Books)
  • Salter, Mike, 2000, The Castles of Kent (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 20
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 236
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Gould, I. Chalkley, 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Kent Vol. 1 p. 433 online copy
  • Sands, Harold, 1907, 'Some Kentish Castles' in Ditchfield and Clinch, Memorials of Old Kent (London) p. 179-80 (Called Bayford Castle but describes Bayford Court) online copy
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 5 online copy
  • Hasted, Edward, 1798 (2edn), The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent Vol. 6 p. 150- online transcription


  • Saxton, C., 1590, Manors of Bayford and Goodmanston view online


  • Gould, I. Chalkley, 1907, 'Traces of Saxons and Danes in the Earthworks of Essex' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 64 p. 227-42 online copy
  • Spurrell, F.C.J., 1885, 'Early site and embankments on the margins of the Thames estuary' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 42 p. 293-4 (plan) online copy
  • Clark, G.T., 1881, 'The castles of England and Wales at the Latter part of the Twelfth Century' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 38 p. 258-76, 336-35 esp. 260 online copy


  • Kent County Council, December 2004, Kent Historic Towns Survey (Kent County Council and English Heritage) view online copy