Coldred Court

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are uncertain remains

NameColdred Court
Alternative NamesCeoldred
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityKent
1974 AuthorityKent
Civil ParishShepherdswell With Coldred

The monument includes the earthworks and interior area of an early Norman ringwork, along with its bailey or outer ward. To the north-west of the modern road that bisects the remains is the ringwork itself, defined on two-thirds of its boundary by massive earthworks comprising a bank up to 2.5m in height and a ditch on the outside as much as 2m deep. On this side of the road a number of farm buildings, some medieval in date, have been constructed over the position of the former earthworks. In this area would have stood the main residential buildings, along with a chapel which has continued in use as the parish church. On the south-east side of the road is the bailey area in which ancillary buildings such as stables, workshops and soldiers' accommodation would have been sited. Here the bank attains maximum dimensions of 14m in width and over 3m in height while the ditch reaches a maximum depth of nearly 4m. Towards the road on the north-east side, the ditch has been partially infilled by soil from the bank, but here a low outer bank is also visible. In 1086 the manor of Coldred was in the hands of the powerful Odo, Bishop of Bayeux and Earl of Kent, but he was dispossessed of it soon afterwards having been disgraced for raising an unauthorised army for a foreign expedition. Within the protected area are two excluded areas, one a chalk quarry, as defined by the quarry fences, and the other the church of St Pancras and churchyard as defined by the churchyard fence. (Scheduling Report)

VCH classifies this earthwork as possibly Romano-British; Crawford says it is unlikely to be prehistoric and is possibly Medieval. Hasted gives a plan showing it as a waisted oval bisected by the road with Coldred Church in the NW half and a 'mount' in the SE half; he also records the discovery of a well at approx. TR 27474757

The work is situated in a poor defensive position on a broad flat-topped ridge at a height of 370ft and has been extensively mutilated by quarrying and the construction of farm buildings of Coldred Court. The NW half surrounding Coldred Church, a small two-celled early Norman building, consists of a strong rampart and V-shaped ditch. The SE half is of much more massive proportions with a U-shaped ditch and a slightly raised inner area. The two halves are off-set from one another and appear to be separate works. At Domesday the manor of Coldred was possessed by Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. Four years later he was disgraced and his possessions, including Coldred, were confiscated. The earthwork is probably therefore, a much mutilated castle mound with a small church in the bailey. The short life may account for the lack of tradition or documentary evidence. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Although isolated from settlement the name suggests this was a manorial centre and a church is next to the site. Site halfway between Shepherdswell and Coldred.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTR274475
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  • Salter, Mike, 2000, The Castles of Kent (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 25
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 229
  • Gould, I. Chalkley, 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Kent Vol. 1 p. 394 online copy
  • Hasted, Edward, 1800 (2edn), The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent Vol. 9 p. 385- online transcription


  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 206 online copy