Warblington Castle, Havant

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameWarblington Castle, Havant
Alternative NamesSt Faiths
Historic CountryHampshire and the Isle of Wight
Modern AuthorityHampshire
1974 AuthorityHampshire
Civil ParishHavant

The 'Castle' is said to have been built, or a license to crenellate the existing manor granted, c1340 and the foundations of some buildings surrounding the courtyard date possibly from the 14th century. They are surmounted by 1-4 courses of Tudor brick and the gatehouse ruins are of that date, built of brick faced with Isle of Wight stone, the mouldings and ornament of Caen stone (VCH).

It would seem that the 'castle' was uninhabitable in 1695 and after the siege of 1644 it had probably been dismantled (Butchart).

The 'castle' - a fortified homestead - has been totally destroyed, its site occupied by the modern farm. This house and the ruins of the gatehouse, which has a turret of early Tudor brick, are surrounded by a square moat, the traces of which, on the S and E sides, are to be seen as a very shallow depression. Along the N side the moat is still quite deep and apparently turned south at the modern pond. Along the N side, outside the moat, is a steep-sided, clay rampart, c8 feet high, and 11-12ft above the bottom of the moat, with a flat top 6-8 feet wide. At its NE end is a square 'expansion', 30 x 30 feet and at the NW end it stops abruptly in a line with the gateway. In the field to the westward, there are traces, possibly of former buildings flanking the main approach. At the end of the 18th century, the field to the north is described as 'surrounded with a mound and fosse as deep as that of the castle' (Williams-Freeman 1915).

The plan of the earthworks would seem to have been a 'double bailey' of moat and rampart and surrounding this a further rampart represented by the N hedge, the W and S roads and the E stream

The 'castle' was probably built by the Countess of Salisbury, 1514-26 (Williams-Freeman 1938).

In 1518 a large quantity of building material, including 11 tons of Caen stone and 210,000 bricks, was used at Warblington Manor (Salzman).

Foundations, believed to be of the Dining Hall, exist in the paddock to the south of the present house, and paving stones have been ploughed up there. Other foundations have been uncovered beneath the lawn.

The sole visible remains of Warblington Castle are the gatehouse, and traces of the moat. The earthwork in the field to the north has the appearance of an old river bed, and is probably a natural feature (Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments).

No traces of further earthworks were seen in the field to the N, nor in the field to the W. In the second field to the N, centred SU 72900575, natural slopes lead down to a stream, beyond which, the ground to the N has been lowered, probably by gravel digging. There is further evidence of old gravel workings in the S half of the field. Two low, broad, parallel banks running N-S to the S of the stream with a hollow-way running W from the S end, may be the result of, or associated with, gravel working, but do not appear to be connected with the moated site (F1 ASP 17-FEB-69). (PastScape)

The site at Warblington Castle has a long history. Romanised Britons probably lived in the area, and its name is thought to have derived from a group of Saxons called the Warblings, who settled there about the 11th century, and built the church from some of the remains of a Roman villa. At this Domesday period, the manor stretched as far north as Rowlands Castle and included the land on which Emsworth is built. In 1231 the Bishop of Chichester obtained a license for a deer park (see MUID 54149). Early in the C14, the owner, Thomas Monthermer had royal connections through his father, Sir Ralph, who had married Joan of Acres, the sister of Edward II. In 1340 Edward II gave a license to crenellate the manor, which then became a Castle. Thomas' daughter and heiress married a member of the house of Montague, Earls of Salisbury. During the C14 and C15s it appears the castle was rather neglected, and the estate became isolated from the village of Emsworth. Edward, the Earl of Warwick, should have inherited the estate in the late C15, but as Henry VII had imprisoned him, it came under the administration of the Crown. Edward was executed in 1499. The estate was restored to Margaret Pole, sister of Edward, early in Henry VIIIs reign. It is thought that when Margaret became Countess of Salisbury in her own right in 1513, she set about rebuilding the Castle immediately. Accounts dated 1517 for the building show that it was well advanced. Henry VIII visited in 1526. Margaret Poles opposition to Henrys divorce led to her execution. The estate passed to Fitzwilliam, Earl of Southampton; then to Thomas Wriothesely, and to the Cottons in 1551, who held it until the beginning of the C18. Royal visitors included Edward VI, and it is most likely that Queen Elizabeth I journeyed there. In 1632 William Luffe, General Surveyor to Sir Richard Cotton, did a survey of the castle and its grounds and noted a fair green court before the gate, a spacious garden with pleasant walks adjoining, groves of trees, 2 orchards, fishpond, barns, and stables. The Cottons were Royalist and Warblington was slighted in 1644 by the Parliamentarians. One arm of the gate tower, part of a wall, and a gateway were all that remained. After the restoration, when the lands were returned to the Cottons, a farmhouse was built within the castle site for the tenants using the abandoned stone. The 1st edition O.S. map of 1867 shows the Castle Farm, a moat on 3 sides of the remains of the Castle, pathways and plantings on the north and east banks of the moat, and to the east there appears to be an orchard. Aerial photographs have shown the foundations of a range of buildings, which could be the site of the old stables and dovecote. The remains of the fishpond lie to the north of the castle. Recent field archaeology has revealed that the castle was surrounded by a square moat. All that remains of the moat on the south and east sides are very shallow depressions. To the north it is still very deep, and may have been fed by tidal waters before the installation of hatches, presumably nearer the shoreline. Today, the remains are in the midst of a working farm, on the southwest side is a small lawn; the farmhouse remains; to the east are small trees and shrubs, to the south the Saxon church and a cemetery with fascinating Georgian headstones. (Hampshire AHBR 52361)

Gatehouse Comments

May have been a successor to Rowland's Castle, at the other end of a long, linear N-S manor. Rejected by D.J.C. King as not a fortified building even though this was considered a strong house worthy of a garrison in the Civil War. The earlier moated house may have been fortified in a sense more acceptable to King.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSU729055
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Photo by Mick Halliday All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Photo by Mick Halliday All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Butchart, C.B.R., 1954, 'Hampshire Castles, 1. Warblington castle' Proceeding of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Vol. 18.2 p. 286-8
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  • 1936, Proceeding of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Vol. 13 p. 229


  • Dave Hopkins, 2004, Extensive Urban Survey - Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (English Heritage) Download copy