Farningham Castle

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NameFarningham Castle
Alternative Names
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityKent
1974 AuthorityKent
Civil ParishFarningham

In 1740 William Hanger built a new house on the site of the old manor-house of Farningham but it was burnt down before it was finished and was never rebuilt. He moved to a house on the opposite side of the road - the present manor-house. The site of the medieval and 1740 manor-house is still to be seen at TQ 5473 6706 and comprises a large building platform together with a moat, now dry. The moat has suffered some mutilation on the NE side, otherwise it is in fair condition. No evidence of any feature in this field. I learned locally that archaeological excavations had taken place here about 2 years ago. In 1972 a sewer pipe was being laid outwhen the line cut through the N side of a mound and revealed not only the presumed medieval and post-medieval manor houses but also the curtain wall and moat relating to the hitherto unknown Farningham Castle. In 1973 a joint excavation programme was undertaken by the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit and the Darent Valley Archaeological Training School. The excavation concentrated on the SW corner of the mound and the moat, filled with mud silt. The curtain wall, 5 feet thick and 7 feet high, rested on massive sandstone boulders and probably dates to the C13 or C14. The C16 brick manor house had been constructed on top of the curtain wall and later boundary walls added. (Kent HER)

The C.I.B. Archaeological Rescue Corps discovered the site of the castle on the E. bank of the R. Darent. A flint curtain-wall, 14 ft. wide and 50 ft. long, and on the S. a related moat, 40 ft. wide and 10 ft. deep, were found. (Med. Arch., 1973)

Gatehouse Comments

Quite where the 'castle' name comes from is unclear. The manor was 'held of Dover-castle, by castle-guard rent, and was esteemed as one knight's fee' (Hasted) and some other such manors have been misinterpreted as having castles but the name may just be the fancy of the 1970's excavators.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ547670
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Salter, Mike, 2000, The Castles of Kent (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 43
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 231
  • Hasted, Edward, 1798 (2edn), The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent Vol. 2 p. 510- (manorial history only) online transcription


  • 1981, Moated Sites Research Group No. 8 p. 14
  • 1973, 'Investigations and Excavations during the Year' Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 88 p. 215-6 online copy
  • 1973, 'Medieval Britain in 1972' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 17 p. 161 view copy
  • Borthwick, A. and Davies, H., 1973, 'Excavations in Dartford and the Darenth Valley' Kent Archaeological review Vol. 34 p. 110-15 online copy