#12 Allington Castle
~1140, 1279-99 and later
This is NOT an official Lego site
The first Allington
Castle was built about 1140 by William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey.
The castle, likely mostly constructed of timbers, was built on a motte
[earthen mound] next to the River Medway about 3 miles (by road) from
Maidstone. An expansion of the castle without royal approval resulted in
the 'slighting' [demolition] of Allington in 1174. The next we
hear of Allington is in 1279 when Edward I gave Stephen
of Penchester a license to crenellate [fortify] his
manor house, built upon the remnants of the original castle. The castle
passed by marriage to the Cobham family, who owned the castle until
1492. The quadrangular castle, with six
round and several square towers at the corners and mid-wall was altered
and embellished several times by the Cobham family, but even by the
beginning of the 15th century the castle was in very bad condition.
acquired by Sir Henry Wyatt in 1492, with major alterations approved by
Henry Tudor, who later became King Henry VII. The courtyard was divided,
and new kitchens and stables built. The castle was visited not
only by Henry Vii, but also King Henry VIII on three occasions. Henry's
son, poet Thomas Wyatt, was born at Allington in 1503, but but sadly his
sone, also Thomas Wyatt was forced to forfeit the castle and its estates
after he supported an unsuccessful rebellion against Queen Mary.
Sir Thomas was executed, and the rest of the family apparently migrated
to America! The castle and its environs were granted to John
Ashley, Queen Elizabeth I's Master of the Jewel House, in 1568, but most
of the Great Hall and the northeast wing were destroyed in a terrible
fire soon thereafter. While some repairs and improvements were
made to the castle over the next two centuries, new owners generally did
not actually live in the castle, but in farmhouses adjacent to the
castle or elsewhere.
By the late 19th
century the castle has experienced another fire, and deterioration
continued to the point that parts of the castle were used as a quarry.
In 1895 retired London attorney Dudley Falke rented the castle ruin, and
began a restoration project. Within the decade, it proved too expensive
and he persuaded Sir William Conway and his American wife to look at the
castle. They immediately fell in love with the ruin, and purchased
Allington from Lord Romney for £4,800, spending the next 30 years
restoring the castle. When now Lord Conway died in 1937, his
archeologist daughter Agnes adn her husband inherited the castle.
When Agnes died in 1950, the castle was sold to the Order of Carmelites
for £15,000. The friars continued restoring Allington, in 1999 the
castle was sold to Sir Robert Worchester. While not open to the public,
it is available for rent for weddings and other events.
Other Allington Castle pages:
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