King Johns Castle, Kineton

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameKing Johns Castle, Kineton
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWarwickshire
Modern AuthorityWarwickshire
1974 AuthorityWarwickshire
Civil ParishKineton

The earthwork and buried remains of King John's Castle, a motte and bailey castle. It is thought that Richard I granted Kineton to his brother John in the late C12 who in turn granted it to Stephen de Seagrave in circa 1216. The motte is located at the south eastern end of the bailey and has been artificially raised. The flat-topped mound has a diameter of 44m at its base and stands some 2m high. It is surrounded by a ditch which separates the motte from the bailey. Most of its circuit has become infilled over time, but the ditch will survive as a buried feature. The bailey has a 'D'-shaped plan and is thought to have originally been bounded by a bank, which remains visible in places as a low, intermittent earthwork. Until recent years the bailey was occupied by allotments and now takes the form of a raised, levelled area with the ground falling away gradually beyond. (PastScape)

King John's Castle survives well and represents a good example of this class of monument. Both the motte and the bailey area to the north east are thought to retain buried structural and artefactual evidence for the buildings which originally existed here, and will provide information regarding the activities and status of the site's inhabitants. Additionally, the silted motte ditch will retain archaeological deposits relating to the economy of the inhabitants and the environment in which they lived.

The motte and bailey castle is accessible to the public and serves as a valuable public amenity.

The monument is situated close to the River Dene, on the south western outskirts of Kineton, and includes the earthwork and buried remains of King John's Castle, a motte and bailey castle. It is thought that Richard I granted Kineton to his brother John in the late 12th century who in turn granted it to Stephen de Seagrave in c.1216.

The motte is located at the south eastern end of the bailey and has been artificially raised

The flat-topped mound has a diameter of 44m at its base and stands some 2m high. It is surrounded by a ditch which separates the motte from the bailey to the north east and is most visible on the north side of the motte. Most of its circuit has become infilled over time, but the ditch will survive as a buried feature. The bailey has a 'D'-shaped plan and is thought to have originally been bounded by a bank, which remains visible in places as a low, intermittent earthwork, and possible a wall. Until recent years the bailey was occupied by allotments and now takes the form of a raised, levelled area with the ground falling away gradually beyond. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

The tradition of this being a castle where King John sometimes held his court dates to before Dugdales time.

- 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 ReferenceSP329508
Latitude52.1553802490234
Longitude-1.51946997642517
Eastings432950
Northings250890
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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Books

  • Salter, Mike, 1992, Castles and Moated Mansions of Warwickshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 38
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 483
  • Willoughby Gardner, 1904, 'Ancient Defensive Earthworks' in Doubleday, H.A. and Page, Wm (eds), VCH Warwickshire Vol. 1 p. 382-3 online copy
  • Ribton-Turner, C.J., 1893, Shakespeares Land (Lemington and London) p. 327 online copy

Antiquarian

  • Dugdale, Wm., 1656, The Antiquities of Warwickshire (Thomas Warren) p. 430-32 online copy

Journals

  • Chatwin, P.B., 1947-8, 'Castles in Warwickshire' Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society Vol. 67 p. 11-12
  • Whitley, 1883, The Builder Vol. 65 p. 580

Other

  • Baker, H.D., 1987, Warwickshire Monument Evaluation and Presentation Project