Someries Castle

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House, and also as a Certain Tower House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameSomeries Castle
Alternative NamesSummeries; Somerys
Historic CountryBedfordshire
Modern AuthorityBedfordshire
1974 AuthorityBedfordshire
Civil ParishHyde

The upstanding and buried remains of the late medieval magnate's residence known as Someries Castle. The upstanding remains include the gatehouse and chapel forming the north west wing of the magnate's residence. Although the roof has gone, the walls survive almost to a full height. The area occupied by the main block of the residence is defined by a raised platform containing low, irregular earthworks to the north east of the garden earthworks. Traces of a substantial brick wall are visible in the north east corner of the site. The name Someries Castle is derived from William de Someries, whose residence stood on the site in C13. The magnate's residence was built by Lord Wenlock, who acquired the Someries estate in the 1430s. The mansion is this thought to be one of the earliest brick buildings in England. The residence was never completed and much of the building was pulled down in 1742. It was preceded on the site by a house which was extant in the 13th century and may have been a fortified manor house or tower house. The exact location of this building is not known. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

By 1430 there was at least 100 years of brick building in England, so the reason this building is considered an early example is unclear, particular since documentary sources suggest the gatehouse dates from 1448 and the chapel from the 1460's. The site of the earlier manor house is not located with certainty and may be lost under or confused with later garden works.

- 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 ReferenceTL119201
Latitude51.8690795898438
Longitude-0.375699996948242
Eastings511920
Northings220130
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright greentool2002 All Rights Reserved
Copyright greentool2002 All Rights Reserved
Copyright greentool2002 All Rights Reserved
Copyright greentool2002 All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Petre, James Scott, 2012, The Castles of Bedfordshire (Lavenham: Lavenham Press for Shaun Tyas) p. 95-8
  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 353, 370
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of The Thames Valley and The Chilterns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 16
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 295
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 3-4
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 8 (rejected as a fortified site)
  • Renn, D.F., 1971, Medieval Castles in Hertfordshire (Chichester; Phillimore) p. 10, 18-20, 22
  • Godber, J., 1969, History of Bedfordshire (Bedford) p. 135
  • Pevsner, N., 1968, The Buildings of England: Bedfordshire, Huntingdon and Peterborough (Harmondsworth) p. 118-19
  • James Dyer, Frank Stygall and John Dony, 1964, The Story of Luton (Luton: White Crescent Press) p. 66-7
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1908, VCH Bedfordshire Vol. 2 p. 364-5 online transcription
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1897, Castles of England Vol. 1 p. 140-1 (History confused with Luton) online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 280 online copy

Antiquarian

  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1909, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 4 p. 121 online copy

Journals

  • Kennett, D.H., 1994, 'Early brick houses in the South Midlands: A question of size' South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 24 p. 2-3 online copy
  • 1993, South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 23 p. 32 online copy
  • Kennett, D.H., 1990, 'The destruction of country houses: Eighteenth-century Bedfordshire reconsidered' South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 20 p. 14, 16 online copy
  • 1988, South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 18 p. 26 online copy
  • Kennett, D.H., 1987, 'Greens, Moats and the Great House: aspects of the Bedfordshire landscape in the seventeenth century' South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 17 p. 27 online copy
  • Smith, T.P., 'Someries Castle' Archaeological Journal Vol. 139 p. 43-6
  • 1982, South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 12 p. 17 online copy
  • Baker, David et al, 1982, 'Proceedings of the Summer Meeting of the Royal Archaeological Institute at Bedford in 1982 (archaeology and standing buildings)' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 139 p. 43
  • Smith, T.P., 1976, 'The early brickwork of Someries Castle, Bedfordshire and its place in the history of English brick building' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 129 p. 42-58
  • 1978, South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 8 p. 37 online copy
  • Smith, T.P., 1970, 'Someries Castle: some reconsiderations' Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 5 p. 109-112 online copy (large file)
  • Smith, T.P., 1966, 'Someries Castle' Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 3 p. 35-51 online copy (large file)
  • Manning, W.H., 1956, 'Someries Castle, Luton' Bedfordshire magazine Vol. 5 no. 36 p. 157-62
  • Fowler, H., 1889, 'Someries Castle' Transactions of the St Albans and Hertfordshire Archaeological Society p. 31-45 online copy