Folkingham Castle

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

There are earthwork remains

NameFolkingham Castle
Alternative NamesFolkyngham
Historic CountryLincolnshire
Modern AuthorityLincolnshire
1974 AuthorityLincolnshire
Civil ParishFolkingham

The only earthwork remains of a castle given by William the Conqueror to Gilbert de Ghent, which passed in about 1300 to the Beaumont family, by whom it was rebuilt. The castle was becoming ruinous by Leland's time and is said to have been destroyed during the Civil War. There remains an inner moat and some trace of the outer moat which would have enclosed about 10 acres.

A rectangular site surrounded by a deep ditch with outer bank, apparently there was once a larger outer bailey which has now gone. A House of Correction was built inside the castle in the early 19th century (see PRN 33759). The castle was built by Gilbert de Gaunt in the 11th century and became the property of the crown during the reign of Edward I. Edward II passed it on to Henry de Beaumont who became earl of Bagham. It then descended to lords Clinton (EH Scheduling Report).

Gilbert de Gand, one of the greatest landowners in Lincolnshire in 1086, owned the Manor of Folkingham. Whether he or his descendents built a castle here is uncertain, but no part of the present castle need be older than 1312, when Henry de Beaumont obtained a licence to defend his house. The castle returned to royal ownership in 1507 but later became part of the Earl of Lincoln's estates. In 1808 a House of Correction was built within the moat of the castle and subsequently many additions were made (see PRN 33759). John Leland recorded in 1535 that 'it hath bene a goodly house, but now it fallith al to ruine'. The castle stood on a rectangular island surrounded by a moat, and a larger moat lay outside that, enclosing a large area to the west. The original entrance lay on the west side also. To the north is another earthwork, rectangular in shape and with a pond at one end. It may have been a garden or orchard as at Sleaford Castle. Like Sleaford and Bolingbroke castles, Folkingham castle avoids the higher ground to the north and south in order to use the waters of a stream to fill the moats

Nothing of the internal arrangements of the castle can now be made out (White, 1983).

The long rectangular enclosure to the north of the castle, with a pond at its east end, is likely to have been a medieval pleasaunce. The castle's site is not naturally strong, but takes advantage of water defences rather than utilising hills (Pevsner, 1989).

Earthwork remains of the castle, including the moat, ringwork and bailey as well as associated features such as ponds and boundaries can be seen on aerial photographs.

In about 1830, "many large stones and other remains of the castle" were dug up, and in 1813 a stone gutter or sewer about 3 feet square was discovered. Various brass and copper coins have also been found at the castle site, and "numerous foundations" seen. There is a tradition that the Manor House (PRN 36981) was built using materials from the castle (White 1856). (Lincolnshire HER)

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 ReferenceTF074334
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All rights reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All rights reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All rights reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All rights reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All rights reserved

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

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  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 378
  • Osborne, Mike, 2010, Defending Lincolnshire: A Military History from Conquest to Cold War (The History Press) p. 32, 46, 61, 71
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 48
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 327
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 148 (slight)
  • Roffe, David, 1993, 'Castles' in Bennett, S. and Bennett, N. (eds), An Historical Atlas of Lincolnshire (University of Hull Press) p. 40-1
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus and John Harris; revised by Nicholas Antram, 1989, Buildings of England: Lincolnshire (Harmondsworth) p. 529 (slight)
  • White, A.J., 1983, A visitors guide: six Lincolnshire castles
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 261
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Trollope, E., 1872, Sleaford and Wapentakes of Flaxwell and Aswardhurn in the County of Lincoln (London) p. 510-11
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 406 online copy
  • White, W., 1856, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire p. 714-5


  • Camden, Wm, 1607, Britannia hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2004)
  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 289
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 25 online copy


  • Baggs, A.P., 1974, 'Folkingham Castle and the House of Correction' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 131 p. 334

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1894, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1307-13) Vol. 1 p. 457 online copy
  • Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 290-1


  • 2009, Folkingham Conservation Area (South Kesteven District Council) online copy