Kirby Muxloe Castle

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are major building remains

NameKirby Muxloe Castle
Alternative NamesKerby
Historic CountryLeicestershire
Modern AuthorityLeicestershire
1974 AuthorityLeicestershire
Civil ParishKirby Muxloe

The standing and buried remains of a quadrangular castle and its associated leat and outlet channel. The manor of Kirby Muxloe was owned by the Pakeman family during C14 and the foundations of the hall of their stone-built manor house, constructed within a moat, are visible in the courtyard of the quadrangular castle which replaced it in C15. The foundations of the buttery, pantry and passage to the kitchen remain visible. In circa 1460 Kirby Muxloe Castle passed to the Hastings family through inheritance. Sir William Hastings undertook extensive building programmes at his residences in Leicestershire. Although a licence to crenellate was obtained in 1474, work did not begin at Kirby Muxloe until 1480. The earlier hall was initially retained but demolished later in order to use the stone for the foundations of the new buildings. In 1483, following the death of Edward IV, William Hastings was beheaded by the new monarch, Richard III, at which time Kirby Muxloe Castle stood incomplete and the site was abandoned shortly afterwards. The external dimensions of the site are 110m north east-south west by 90m north west-south east. The water filled moat arms are up to 21m wide and the inner face is revetted in brick. The moat is fed by a 110m long leat which connects with the stream to the south of the castle. The moated island is rectangular in plan and measures 80m by 60m. Although Kirby Muxloe Castle was never completed, the standing remains provide evidence for the layout of the site. Most of the foundations had been laid, the gatehouse largely built, and the western tower wholly built when work was brought to an abrupt halt by the execution of the owner. Except for the stone dressings, it has been constructed throughout in brick and is one of a group of early brick buildings in the Midlands. It is clear from accounts of the time that the towers were intended to carry artillery. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The intended presence of artillery (the pieces would have been small) should not led to a false conclusion that this house was intended as a fortress, such weapons would have been an impressive display of status and wealth. They would certainly have put some caution into the actions of a mob of unarmoured local tenants but an army of soldiers would have not been deterred.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 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 ReferenceSK523045
Latitude52.6366310119629
Longitude-1.22722995281219
Eastings452340
Northings304560
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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Books

  • Knox, Richard, 2015, 'The medieval fortified sites of Leicestershire and Rutland' in Medieval Leicestershire: Recent research on the Medieval Archaeology of Leicester (Liecestershire Fieldworks 3) p. 123-42
  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 10, 375, 377-8, 389
  • Cantor, Leonard, 2003, The Scheduled Ancient Monument of Leicestershire and Rutland (Leicester: Kairos Press) p. 33-4
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 37-9
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 264
  • Cooper, Nicholas, 1999, Houses of the Gentry, 1480-1680 (Yale University Press) p. 13
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 138-9
  • Salter, Mike, 1993, Midlands Castles (Birmingham) p. 58-9
  • Brown, R.Allen, 1989, Castles from the Air (Cambridge University Press) p. 138-9
  • Hartley, R.F., 1989, The Medieval Earthworks of Central Leicestershire (Leicester: Leicestershire Museums, Art Galleries and Records Service) p. 58
  • Furtado, Peter et al (eds), 1988, Ordnance Survey guide to castles in Britain (London) p. 136
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus; revised by Elizabeth Williamson with Geoffrey K Brandwood, 1984, Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland (Harmondsworth) p. 192-4
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 254
  • Liddle, P., 1983, A Guide to 20 Archaeological Sites in Leicestershire (Leicester: Leicestershire Museums, Art Galleries and Records Service) p. 18-19
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 249
  • O'Neil, B.H.St.J., 1960, Castles and Cannon: A Study of Early Artillery Fortifications in England (Oxford: Claredon Press) p. 37, plate9
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Gotch, J. Alfred, 1909, The Growth of the English House (London: Batsford) p. 84-6
  • Wall, C., 1907, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm, (ed), VCH Leicestershire Vol. 1 p. 268-9 online copy
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 414-15 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 236-7 online copy
  • Flower, J., 18225, Views of ancient buildings in the town and county of Leicester (Leicester: W.Day) online copy

Journals

  • Guy, Neil, 2011-12, 'The Rise of the Anti-clockwise Newel Stair' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 25 p. 113-174 online copy
  • Anon, 2010, 'Great British architects: John Cowper (fl. 1453-84)' Country Life 204.18 p. 60-61
  • McWhirr, A., 1997, 'Brickmaking in Leicestershire before about 1710' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 71 p. 37-59 esp 40-43 online copy
  • Renn, Derek, 1987, 'English fortification in 1485' Château Gaillard Vol. 13 p. 169-174
  • Kenyon, J.R., 1981 'Early Artillery Fortifications in England and Wales: a Preliminary Survey and Re-appraisal' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 138 p. 217
  • Cantor, Leonard, 1977-8, 'The Medieval Castles of Leicestershire' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 53 p. 36 online copy
  • Rigold, S.E., 1973, 'Timber bridges at English castles and moated sites' Château Gaillard Vol. 6 p. 183-194
  • 1933, The Archaeological Journal Vol. 90 p. 370 online copy
  • Thompson, L.A.H., 1913-20, 'The Building Accounts of Kirby Muxloe Castle' Transactions of the Leicestershire Architectural and Archaeological Society Vol. 11 p. 193-345 online copy [online copy > http://www.le.ac.uk/lahs/downloads/KirbyPagesfromXIpartsV-VI.pdf]
  • Hewitt, F. and Langham, J., 1913-20, 'Kirby Muxloe Castle Transactions of the Leicestershire Architectural and Archaeological Society Vol. 11 p. 109-14
  • Fosbrooke, T.H., 1913-20, 'A short description of the original building accounts of Kirby Muxloe Castle' Transactions of the Leicestershire Architectural and Archaeological Society Vol. 11 p. 87-8 (records)
  • Gotch, J.A., 1901, 'Kirby Muxloe Castle' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 7 p. 149-56 online copy
  • Thompson, 1866, Transactions of the Leicestershire Architectural and Archaeological Society Vol. 1 p. 362-7 (slight)

Guide Books

  • Goodall, J., 2015 (revised reprint), Ashby de la Zouch Castle and Kirby Muxloe Castle (London: English Heritage)
  • Goodall, J., 2011 (revised 2edn), Ashby de la Zouch Castle and Kirby Muxloe Castle (London: English Heritage)
  • Goodall, J., 2007, Ashby de la Zouch Castle and Kirby Muxloe Castle (London: English Heritage)
  • 2001, Kirky Muxloe Castle Leicestershire (London: English Heritage)
  • Peers, Sir Charles, 1986, Kirby Muxloe Castle, Leicestershire (London: English Heritage)
  • Peers, Sir Charles, 1917, Kirby Muxloe Castle, Leicestershire (HMSO) online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1927, Calendar of Charter Rolls 5 Henry VI - 8 Henry VIII, AD 1427-1516, with an appendix, 1215-1288 Vol. 6. (HMSO) p. 242 online copy

Other

  • Tate, J., 2007, An archaeological watching brief at Kirby Muxloe Castle, Kirby Muxloe.
  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 390-1 online copy