Deptford castle

Has been described as a Possible Masonry Castle

There are no visible remains

NameDeptford castle
Alternative NamesSayes Court; West Greenwich
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityLondon Borough of Lewisham
1974 AuthorityGreater London
Civil Parish

Gilbert de Magminot (or Maminot, as this name was afterwards more frequently spelt) fixed the scite of his barony here, which therefore was afterwards esteemed caput baroniƦ, or head of the barony, and he erected a castle on it, as was usual in those days, every part of which has been long since buried in its own ruins; though some remains of stony foundations seem to point out the situation of it, near Saye's-court, in Bromfield, on the bank of the Thames, near the mast dock. (Hasted)

The manor of Deptford having been granted by William the Conqueror to Gilbert de Magminot, he is said to have erected a castle there, which, as it would have commanded the passage of the Thames, the adjacent great road to Dover, and the deep ford of the Ravensbourne, is by no means improbable. The family becoming extinct in 1192, the castle seems to have fallen into ruin at a very early date. Hasted, writing in 1778, remarks that the site of it was to be traced in some old foundations "not far from Says Court, near Bromfield, on the bank of the Thames adjoining the mast dock." The site has long since been built upon, and incorporated in what is now the Royal Victualling Yard. There was another old house in Deptford commonly called "the moated place," "Stone, or King John's House," from that monarch having been supposed to have built it. Edward III. is known to have resided there, 1 and Henry IV. dated his will, 21 Jan., 1408, from his manor of Greenwich. It was no doubt just such a hunting seat as King John's House at Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, a defensible house of no great strength or importance, but for additional security protected by a moat. (Sands)

Gatehouse Comments

Some records place this in the London Borough of Greenwich, presumably because the medieval manor was called West Greenwich or because of a failure to appreciate the line of the borough boundary.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ369780
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  • Salter, Mike, 2000, The Castles of Kent (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 29
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 236
  • Guy, John, 1980, Kent Castles (Meresborough Books)
  • Sands, Harold, 1907, 'Some Kentish Castles' in Ditchfield and Clinch, Memorials of Old Kent (London) p. 206 online copy
  • Dews, N., 1884, A History of Deptford (London) p. 17-40
  • Hasted, Edward, 1797 (2edn), The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent Vol. 1 p. 340- online transcription
  • Lysons, Daniel, 1796, The Environs of London Vol. 4: Counties of Herts, Essex & Kent p. online transcription


  • Rhodes, A., 'Sayes Court, Deptford' Woolwich and District Antiquarian Society Transactions Vol. 11 p. 63-70