Spalding Castle

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Other/Unknown), and also as a Possible Masonry Castle, and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NameSpalding Castle
Alternative NamesTalbois Castle; Coney Garth
Historic CountryLincolnshire
Modern AuthorityLincolnshire
1974 AuthorityLincolnshire
Civil ParishSpalding

In 1073 Ivo Tailbois, nephew of the Conqueror, became lord of Spalding and all Holland, and held court in Spalding Castle. The castle moat was said to be still visible in Coney Garth in 1746 (OS card; Marret; White)

The published site falls in an area of private houses and gardens. There is neither visible evidence nor local knowledge of surviving earthworks or building foundations (OS card).

The moat of the keep of Talbois Castle here was plainly visible in 1746 in Coney-Garth, part of the castle fields, over against the park on the north road. A man's head defaced, probably part of a statue, with several other fragments of carved stones originally belonging to this castle were deposited in the Museum of the Spalding Society. The vast iron lock and key belonging to it, very substantial and in form of a fetter lock - now hangs we believe in Ayscough-Fee Hall (Marrett 1814).

A moat is shown in 'Castle Fields' on 1732 map of Spalding (Lincolnshire HER)

Only the site of the castle of Ivo Tailbois in Spalding is known, whose square stone keep is shown on an eighteenth-century map, so it cannot be determined whether this was preceded by earthworks alone. (Osborne 2010)

Gatehouse Comments

There were three manors listed in Domesday for Spalding of which Tailbois (a.k.a. Tallboys; Taillebois) was by far the largest. He held numerous manors in Lincolnshire but Spalding is an entirely likely caput for his holdings in south Lincolnshire and north Norfolk (a group of holding previous held by Earl Algar). Despite the history in Marrat (not the best of early C19 county historians), the marking of the site on the 1st edition OS maps and the tenurial history this is not a site mentioned by the usual authorities but the possibility of a castle at this moderately important town on Danish invasion route can not be dismissed. Obsbourne cites no authority for a claim of a stone keep here and this appears to be an inflated reading of the Lincolnshire HER which records a moat and finds of stone. The Grundy map of Spalding dated 1732 shows a square moat, not a building. The Coney name suggests the site was used as a rabbit warren at some point in its history. The description given by Marrat is vague but does not suggest the presence of a motte and the C18 map shows a square moat. If Tailbois did construct a fortified dwelling at Spalding it would seem it was relatively small and likely to have just been a slight strengthening the Saxon hall of Earl Algar. Whatever it was it seems to have been replaced by a square moat in which there were some stone buildings but the nothing which seem strong enough to have caught the attention of medieval chronicles.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTF248230
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  • Osborne, Mike, 2010, Defending Lincolnshire: A Military History from Conquest to Cold War (The History Press) p. 41
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 69 (slight)
  • White, W., 1872 (3edn), History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire p. 755 online copy
  • Marratt, William, 1814, The History of Lincolnshire, Topographical, Historical and Descriptive Vol. 1 p. 232


  • 1980, Moated Sites Research Group Report no. 7 p. 55


  • Penn, Kenneth, 2008, An Archaeological Desk-based Survey of Ayscoughfee Hall Gardens, Spalding, Lincolnshire (NAU Archaeology report 1618) (has 1732 map on p. 7 online copy
  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 439 online copy