Castles and Palaces
   

Stone Castle

Stone Castle is located in the village of Stone, 10 km away from Gravesend.

Dating from the mid 11th century, the castle was thought to have been built without licence during the reign of King Stephen, but later allowed to remain by Henry II on his accession to the throne.  In 1165 Thomas A Becket stopped at Stone Castle on his way to Canterbury.

It is believed that the castle fell into disrepair and was rebuilt in the 13th century. 

In 1300, during the reign of Edward I, Sir John de Norwood served as Sheriff of Kent five times, as well as being called to parliament and serving the King against the Scots. He was amongst the gentlemen of Kent who were Knighted by Edward I on the field of battle for bravery at the siege of Carlaverock in 1300.  In 1308 Sir John granted the house and various lands connected with it to his brother, Henry de Norwood.  The Black Prince (eldest son of Edward III, also called Edward) was reputedly knighted at Stone castle.

Around 1400 the Norwood family sold Stone Castle, together with some 40 acres, to the Bonivants.  In 1527 the Castle hosted more esteemed guests when Cardinal Wolsley, Sir Thomas Moore and the Earl of Derby visited.

In 1660 the Stone Castle changed owners again when it became the property of Dr Thomas Plume, Arch Deacon of Rochester.  The existing house was built onto the old tower in 1825 and further extended 13 years later.

In 1907 the Stone Castle was occupied by Charles Hubback Watson JP who was Managing Director of a local cement works that later became Blue Circle Cement.  In 1932 it became the residence of Sir Arthur Davis, Managing Director of Blue Circle, who was also the High Sheriff of Kent in 1935/36 and Lord Mayor of London in 1945/46.

During the Second World War the RAF occupied the castle, erecting an anti-aircraft gun and shell bunker in the grounds.

More recently, Michael Heseltine MP (then Environment Secretary) visited the Stone Castle in 1992 to discuss the development of Bluewater.  Blue Circle sold the building, and surrounding land to Land Securities in 2000, and they now lease the building to the Heritage Conference Centre which is a corporate and private function venue.

Stone Castle Map&Location

Stone Castle address: Stone, Greenhithe, Kent DA9 9XL, UK. Use this map to get help with directions:


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Photo by Ken Brown - Click to enlarge
All that remains of the original Stone Castle is the tower.
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