A square, ruined, late 11th century tower is all that remains of the former
Canterbury Castle History
The Canterbury Castle was constructed in the 11th century in
the south-west quarter of the city.
The walls of its outer bailey were demolished in the late 18th century and since
1826, when the gas and water works first moved into the area, the medieval topography has been
gradually destroyed apart from the tower itself which served as a coal store.
Virtually the sole surviving and visible portion of the castle is the great
tower or 'keep'. Indirect evidence suggests this stone tower was designed between 1085 and
Its architectural history is well documented from the reign of Henry II onwards.
In 1173-1174 over £100 were spent on the 'work of the castle', chiefly on the tower. It is likely
that this large sum was for alterations to an existing keep rather than for its original
The castle was repaired between 1190 and 1193 when preparations were made to
resist King Philip's threatened invasion but the castle was surrendered to Louis of France in 1216.
Generally during the middle ages the castle provided for the administration of the sheriff and
served as a prison. By 1335 it was largely ruinous.
After 1577 the castle stayed in the hands of the crown and was neglected and
left to fall into ruin.
In 1609, the “abandoned ruin” was granted to Sir Anthony Weldon, of Swanscombe,
by James I Later, the castle, as part of the manor of East Greenwich, went to Mr Watson
and in 1732, it was sold to Mr Fremoult. Parts of the site were sold off, and the remains
sold to Mr Thomas Cooper who built a house on the site.
Canterbury Castle was purchased by city council 1928.
Canterbury Castle Visitor Info
Canterbury Castle is 5 minutes walk from Canterbury East Station and
main bus station around City Wall.
For more information about Canterbury you can contact Canterbury Visitor
Tel: 01227 378 100
Canterbury Castle Map&Location
Canterbury Norman Castle is located on Castle Street, Canterbury, CT1 2PR. Get help with
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