Lullingstone Castle

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameLullingstone Castle
Alternative Namesa castle 'towards Craye water'; Lolingstone
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityKent
1974 AuthorityKent
Civil ParishEynsford

This was the outer Gatehouse of the house built by Sir Percyvall Hart between 1543 and 1580. (Of which parts remain in the later Lullingstone Castle) and was constructed sometime after the middle of the century. The inner Gatehouse was demolished in the mid C18. Red brick laid in English Bond, with traces of diaper pattern. In plan it consists of a rectangle with polygonal turrets attached to the outer face, and polygonal projections from the inner. In elevation it comprises a carriage archway with a room over flanked by turrets of 3 storeys. Machicolation and a castellated parapet to the whole. Casement windows with brick mullions. The outer side faces west and has a 4-centred brick carriage archway which retains its original ribbed double doors of 20 panels, and over it a cartouche and a single window of 2 tiers of 4 lights. Flanking this are hexagonal staircase turrets which rise higher than the remainder of the Gatehouse. These have quatrefoil loop lights and terracotta panels. Otherwise this side of the Gatehouse is blind. On the inner side is a similar moulded archway with brick dripstone and cartouche and similar window over and these are flanked by canted bays of 3 storeys which contain 4-centre pedestrian doorways with dripstones on the ground floor flanked by small rectangular single light windows and windows of 2 tiers of 3-lights on the first and second floors. (Listed Building Report)

Built between 1543 and 1580, remodelled in the 18th century and further altered in the 19th and 20th centuries. Renamed Lullingstone Castle in the 18th century, the house is three storeyed and brick-built with a tiled roof. Some 16th century work is visible in the north and east fronts. The Tudor house was surrounded by a moat and was approached via two gatehouses. The inner gatehouse was demolished in the mid 18th century, but the outer gatehouse survives (TQ 56 SW 58)

A documentary source of the 1690s depicts an embattled wall around the moat, which has since been filled in. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Nothing else remains of this Tudor house. Situated within a medieval deer park and beside St Botolphs church which is of Norman origin. King records 'an unidentified castle mentioned by Leland' Leland records as the site and premises being owned by Harte. Clearly somewhere near the Cray's in north west Kent. However, Camden writes 'Lullingston, where there was sometime a Castle, the seat of a family of the same name, but now of Sir Percival Harte' A branch of the Hart family still live here. At the time of Leland the Hart's owned much land in the area including Orkesdene (a.k.a. Aston Lodge) another possible identification and Eynsford Castle which is not named by Leland. Hasted was of the opinion that the ancient Lullingstone Castle was nearby Shoreham Castle which was not a Hart possession, however it is possible that Leland (and others) have confused histories of these separate sites. Equally the C16 house must be on the site of an earlier house of some status, as suggested by the location next to a Norman church.

- 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 ReferenceTQ529644
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Copyright Howard Noyce All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 400, 404, 406
  • Pittman, S., 1983, Lullingstone Park: The Evolution of a Medieval Deer Park (Meresborough Books)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 237 (possible)
  • Aberg, F.A. (ed), 1978, Medieval moated sites (CBA Research Report 17) p. 30 online copy
  • Newman, John, 1976, Buildings of England: West Kent and the Weald (Harmondsworth) p. 387-8
  • Sands, Harold, 1907, 'Some Kentish Castles' in Ditchfield and Clinch, Memorials of Old Kent (London) p. 207-8 online copy
  • Hasted, Edward, 1797 (2edn), The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent Vol. 2 p. 539-46 online transcription


  • 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. 250
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1909, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 4 p. 47 online copy


  • 1973, Cantium Vol. 5.2 p. 29-35