Grimsby Castle

Has been described as a Possible Masonry Castle

There are no visible remains

NameGrimsby Castle
Alternative NamesGrimesbi; Grymesby
Historic CountryLincolnshire
Modern AuthorityNorth East Lincolnshire
1974 AuthorityHumberside
Civil ParishGrimsby

Vanished, probably not completed. Commissioned 1200. Stocks of stone and lime sold in 1214. (King)

Most of the £80 allocated to build a castle here in 1200 was not spent, and in 1214 the stone and lime stocks were sold off. (Renn 1973)

Rad' de Bradel' dat domino Reg' xl. marc et j. palefrid' ut sit quietus de custodia operis castelli de Grymesby et ipse reddidit et quiet' clamavit domino Rex vj. bovata terre et vij acra prati et xvj. acra bosci, que saisite fuerint in manum domini Reg' eo quod hominies Grimesby juraver't quod illas in purprestura tenuit. Et remaneant ee ecclisie sue quas ipse similiter dicebatur habuisse in purprestura. Et praeceptum ; viconte quod praedictas vj. bovata terre et vij. acra prati et xvj. acra bosci saisiet in manum Reg' sicut dominicus suum et inde ad scaccarium respondeat. ( Rot. de Oblatis expanded by Philip Davis)

GRIMESBI Item R. r.c. de xxviij m. pro habenda ((totai) petra et calce quam R. habuit qpud Grimesbi de qua proposuit ibi castrum facere. In thes. lib. Et Q.E. (The Great Roll of the Pipe for the sixteenth year of the reign of King John: Michaelmas 1214)

Gatehouse Comments

Ralph Bradley gave the king 40 marks and a quality horse (palfrey) to be free from overseeing the work on the castle in 1200 shortly after it had been ordered. Given the loss of an overseer of works early in the building project and the sale of materials in 1214 it seems likely the work was never finished and probably was only just started. Indeed it may be that the six bovates of land, seven acres of meadow and sixteen acres of woodland, mentioned with Ralph's resignation, were intended to be a demense holding for the castle, with the castle built on part of that land and that disputes over the land holding prevented work from ever starting. There is some speculation as to a possible site for this castle but no certain site is know. The given map reference here is to the parish church of St James.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTA266091
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  • Osborne, Mike, 2010, Defending Lincolnshire: A Military History from Conquest to Cold War (The History Press) p. 45, 50
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 50
  • Roffe, David, 1993, 'Castles' in Bennett, S. and Bennett, N. (eds), An Historical Atlas of Lincolnshire (University of Hull Press) p. 40-1
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 265
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 196
  • Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works, Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London) p. 56, 656-7


  • 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)
  • Brown, R. Allen, 1955, 'Royal Castle-building in England 1154-1216' English Historical Review Vol. 70 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press)) p. 19-64

Primary Sources

  • Stenton, D.M. (ed.), 1934, The Great Roll of the Pipe for the second year of the reign of King John, Michaelmas 1200 (Pipe Roll 46) (Pipe Roll Society Publications 50) p. 64
  • Stenton, D.M. (ed.), 1936, The Great Roll of the Pipe for the third year of the reign of King John, Michaelmas 1201 (Pipe Roll 47) (Pipe Roll Society Publications 52) p. 18
  • Hardy, D.H (ed), 1835, Rotuli de oblatis et finibus in Turri Londinensi asservati tempore Regis Johannis (London: PRO) p. 107 online copy
  • The Great Roll of the Pipe for the sixteenth year of the reign of King John Michaelmas 1214 (Pipe Roll Society 73) p. 154


  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 373 online copy