Whitwick Castle, Coalville

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameWhitwick Castle, Coalville
Alternative NamesWhitewyk; Witewich
Historic CountryLeicestershire
Modern AuthorityLeicestershire
1974 AuthorityLeicestershire
Civil ParishCoalville

Medieval motte and bailey castle surviving as an earthwork. The castle is situated on an oval natural hill. The bailey is formed by the natural rise of the hill and occupies an area of approximately 100m by 35m, rising 7 to 8m from the surrounding land. The motte is a small circular mound rising to about 2m high. The castle was held by the Earl of Leicester in the mid C12 but had fallen into disrepair by 1427. At the end of C18 the foundations are said to have been seen and a wall was still visible on the north side in 1893. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Licence to crenellate issued 1320 to 'Henricus de Bello Monte, Consanguineus Regis'. The building work resulting from this licence may have provoked an attack by Sir John Talbot who is said to have destroyed the castle. Beaumont's claim to the land was from wife's inheritance and, it seems, Talbot felt he had a claim to Whitwick. 20 years later the capital messuage was worth nothing.

- 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 ReferenceSK435161
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  • Knox, Richard, 2015, 'The medieval fortified sites of Leicestershire and Rutland' in Medieval Leicestershire: Recent research on the Medieval Archaeology of Leicester (Liecestershire Fieldworks 3) p. 123-42
  • Cantor, Leonard, 2003, The Scheduled Ancient Monument of Leicestershire and Rutland (Leicester: Kairos Press) p. 39
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 43
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 141 (slight)
  • Coulson, Charles, 1994, 'The Castles of the Anarchy' in King, Edmund (ed.), The Anarchy of King Stephen's Reign (Oxford University Press) p. 73
  • Salter, Mike, 1993, Midlands Castles (Birmingham) p. 92
  • Hartley, R.F., 1984, The Medieval Earthworks of North-West Leicestershire (Leicester: Leicestershire Museums, Art Galleries and Records Service) p. 48
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 255
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 318
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 345
  • Kinross, John, 1973, Discovering Castles in England and Wales (Shire Publications) p. 103
  • Stenton, Frank, 1932, The First Century of English Feudalism, 1066-1166 (Oxford University Press) p. 250-6
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Wall, C., 1907, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm, (ed), VCH Leicestershire Vol. 1 p. 261-2 (plan) online copy
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 419 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 408 online copy
  • Nichols, J., 1804, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicestershire Vol. 3 p. 112n


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 280
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 18 online copy


  • Creighton, O.H., 1997, 'Early Leicestershire Castles: Archaeology and Landscape History' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 71 p. 21-36 online copy
  • Coulson, Charles, 1995, 'The French Matrix of the Castle-Provisions of the Chester-Leicester conventio' Anglo-Norman Studies Vol. 17 p. 65-86
  • King, Edmund, 1980, 'Mountsorrel and Its Region in King Stephen's Reign' Huntington Library Quarterly Vol. 44, No. 1 p. 1-10 view online copy (subscription required)
  • Cantor, Leonard, 1977-8, 'The Medieval Castles of Leicestershire' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 53 p. 38 online copy
  • Brown, R. Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)
  • Farnham, G., 1927-28, 'Charnwood Forest: The Charnnwood Manors' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 15 p. 231, 236, 238 online copy
  • Tollemache, A.F., 1893, 'Whitwick Castle' Leicestershire and Rutland Notes and Queries Vol. 2 p. 13-15 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Stenton, Frank, 1932, The First Century of English Feudalism, 1066-1166 (Oxford University Press) p. 250-6 (Treaty between Earls of Chester and Leicester c. 1148-53)
  • Hardy, T.D. (ed), 1835, Rotuli Litterarum Patentium in Turri Londinensi Asservati (1201-16) (Record Commission) p. 48 view online copy
  • Hardy, T.D. (ed), 1833, Rotuli litterarum clausarum in turri Londinensi asservati (Record Commission) Vol. 1 p. 13 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1903, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1317-21) Vol. 3 p. 571 online copy


  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 400 online copy