Haughley Castle

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

There are earthwork remains

NameHaughley Castle
Alternative NamesHaganet; Hawghlee; Hegenoth; Hageneth; Haghenet
Historic CountrySuffolk
Modern AuthoritySuffolk
1974 AuthoritySuffolk
Civil ParishHaughley

A moated motte and bailey castle at Haughley. The motte, 210 ft in diameter at base and 80 ft high, has a flat summit which is not concentric with the base, giving a much steeper slope on the north side. Beneath the topsoil of the summit are the foundations of a shell keep. The quadrangular bailey to the south is 390 ft wide by 300 ft north to south, surrounded by a deep ditch and high bank which rises to a maximum height of 16 ft above the surface of the enclosure. An infilled ditch to the north of the motte was formerly used as an overflow and on the west side of the bailey is a moated area of apparently later date (VCH).

The motte and bailey is generally as described by VCH but there are no visible remains of the shell keep other than a scatter of flint about the summit of the motte. The moated enclosure to the west of the bailey incorporates the original stream, diverted to feed the ditch of the motte, and appears to be an additional outer bailey with south entrance, rather than a homestead moat (Field Investigators Comments-F1 FGA 24-FEB-66).

West suggests that the whole of the area south of the castle was within an outer bailey. Examination of the gardens shows a small scarp or rise about 2-3 ft high which is lost to the east by the development of the market, the green and the accretion of buildings on its line. However, in the gardens east of the churchyard there is a deep hollow which could be an infilled ditch, although there is now no sign of it joining the existing moat surrounding the bailey. The ditches to the north of the motte (including the "overflow" mentioned by VCH) and the land to the edge of the sunken way on the east may have delineated the demense of the castle; making the castle area a more complex but unified whole. The moated area to the west of the bailey was also considered by West to be the surviving part of the "outer bailey" (West)


Large motte and bailey castle built in late C11 by Hugh de Montfort. Centre of the Honour of Haughley (or Hagenet), sometimes called 'Honor Constabularie' through its connection with the constableship of Dover Castle. Castle seized by Crown in 1163. Captured, after a short siege, and destroyed in 1173 by rebels led by the Earl of Leicester, the keeper then being Ralph de Broc. (Suffolk HER ref. Renn)

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 ReferenceTM025624
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  • Liddiard, Robert, 2005, 'The Castle Landscape of Anglo-Norman East Anglia: A Regional Perspective' in Harper-Bill, C. (ed), Medieval East Anglia (Woodbridge, Boydell) p. 33-51
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, Index and Amendments to Mike Salter's English Castles Books (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 9
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of East Anglia (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 80
  • Martin, Edward, 1999 (3edn), 'Medieval Castles' in Dymond, David and Martin, Edward (eds) An Historical Atlas of Suffolk (Lavenham) p. 58-9
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 235
  • Brown, R.Allen, 1989, Castles from the Air (Cambridge University Press) p. 128-9
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 458
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 239
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 201
  • Pevsner, N., 1961, Buildings of England: Suffolk (London, Penguin) p. 230
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Wall, 1911, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Suffolk Vol. 1 p. 598-600 (plan) online copy
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 282 online copy



  • David, Gill, 2012, 'Archaeology in Suffolk 2011' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 42.4 p. 523 online copy
  • Liddiard, Robert, 2006, 'Early castles in the Medieval Landscape of East Anglia' Château Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 243-50
  • 2000, 'Archaeology in Suffolk 1999' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 39.4 p. 523 online copy
  • West, S.E., 1977, 'Haughley Castle' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 34.1 p. 65-6 online copy
  • King, D.J.Cathcart, 1972, 'The Field Archaeology of mottes; Eine kurze übersicht' Château Gaillard Vol. 5 p. 101-112
  • 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)
  • Redstone, V.B., 1903, 'Notes on Suffolk Castles. I. Haughley Castle and its Park' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 11.3 p. 301-7 online copy
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 212 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Pipe Rolls (see Pipe Roll Society for published references)
  • Stubbs, Wm. (ed), 1867, Gesta Regis Henrici Secundi Benedicti Abbatis; Chronicle of the Reigns of Henry II and Richard I. A.D. 1169-1192 (London: Rolls Series 49) Vol. 1 p. 60 online copy
  • Stubbs, Wm. (ed), 1876, Radulphi de Diceto decani Lundoniensis Opera Historica. The Historical work of Master Ralph de Diceto, Dean of London (London, Rolls Series 68) Vol. 1 p. 377