History on Tonbridge Castle Kent.
Tonbridge’s first castle was a simple fort of earth and timber, thrown up – like
hundreds of others – by Norman invaders for self-
The wooden castle probably only survived about twenty years. Descendants of Richard Fitzgilbert gradually replaced the earth and timber structure with stone, repairing the effects of decay, fire and warfare and reinforcing their stronghold against improved methods of attack. Their final castle had a noble gatehouse and was encircled by massive curtain walls connecting great towers at each corner, while a high shell keep crowned the motte. In places the castle walls were almost three metres thick, with sandstone facings from nearby quarries. Kings fought and were entertained at Tonbridge Castle, archbishops quarrelled over its guardianship, and Henry III’s niece and Edward I’s daughter were both mistresses of the castle. In Henry VIII’s reign the gatehouse was deemed to be "as strong a fortress as few be in England".
In the Civil War the Castle was strengthened and garrisoned. Thomas Weller, who owned
it at that time, was a Parliamentarian. He joined other West Kent gentlemen in opposing
local unrest at Sevenoaks in 1643, and there was a three-
A later owner, John Hooker, sold stone from the castle to build locks on the River
Medway, and in 1791 his son Thomas took more stone from the ruined walls to build
the residence that now adjoins the Gatehouse. What was left of the once-
Nearly 900 years from its first construction, Tonbridge Castle saw military service
once more, as part of a defensive line against possible German invasion in World
War 2. Anti-
Reputedly England’s finest example of a Motte and Bailey Castle with a splendid 13th Century Gatehouse. kings and archbishops, tyrants and heroes, murderers and mercenaries – all of whom have helped to write some 900 years of English history. Tonbridge Castle in Kent is an 11th Century castle with a long history of violence, battle, death & public execution. It is considered to be one of the most haunted in Kent. Ghostly apparitions and haunting screams have been experienced here and you can join us for a night of investigation that will leave you in little doubt that it is a most haunted location.
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