Tower of Sir Edward Ringeley

Has been described as a Possible Artillery Fort

There are no visible remains

NameTower of Sir Edward Ringeley
Alternative Names
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityKent
1974 AuthorityKent
Civil Parish

Leland writes 'Sir Edward Ringeley has a tower or fortress by the coast beyond the (Stour) estuary mouth.' (Chandler) 'Syr Eduard Ringesle hath a tour, or pile, byyond the mouth of the haven on the shore' (Toulmin-Smith).

Gatehouse Comments

Not Sandwich castle but where was the coast and estuary in Leland's time? Was this an artillery fort covering Sandwich Bay? The will of Sir Edward Ringeley, marshall of Calais, MP and bailiff of Sandwich, who died in 1543, survived and is transcribed in Nicolas but does not help in identifying this tower. Ringeley (aka Rindgeley, Ryngeley, Ryngysley, Rynseley, Rindgeley, Rynsle) had the position and authority to build such a tower and other small private artillery forts were built (ie the initial Camber Castle built 1512 by Edward Guldeford to defend Rye harbour). Ringeley also had expertise in building fortifications developed in Scotland and Calais and he was entrusted with the erection of new fortifications on the Downs in 1539. Leland was writing before the construction of the Downs forts but it may just be possible that, as at Camber, the earlier private fort was incorporated into Sandown Castle although this could only loosely be said to occupy the position described by Leland. Alternatively Ringeley's tower was very short lived (a position on the shore making it particularly susceptible to coastal erosion) and quickly forgotten and lost from record. Given map reference for Shell Ness which fits the location given by Leland but is very approximate.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTR348628
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Calculate Print


  • Bindoff, S.T. (ed), 1982, 'RYNGELEY, Sir Edward (by 1497-1543), of Knowlton and Sandwich, Kent.' The History of Parliament: The Commons 1509-1558 (Secker & Warburg) View online edition
  • Nicolas, N.H., 1826, Testamenta vetusta: being illustrations from wills Vol. 2 p. 702-3 online copy


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 251
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1909, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 4 p. 48 online copy