Thurnham Castle

Last updated
Thurnham Castle
Kent, England
Thurnham Castle.jpg
Remains of Thurnham Castle
Kent UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Thurnham Castle
Coordinates 51°17′39″N0°35′30″E / 51.29422°N 0.59178°E / 51.29422; 0.59178 Coordinates: 51°17′39″N0°35′30″E / 51.29422°N 0.59178°E / 51.29422; 0.59178
Grid reference TQ 808 582
Type Motte and bailey
Site information
Owner Kent County Council
Open to
the public
Site history

Thurnham Castle or Godard's Castle is situated to the north of the village of Thurnham which is 3 miles north-east of Maidstone, Kent (grid reference TQ 808 582 ).

Thurnham, Kent farm village in the United Kingdom

Thurnham is a village and civil parish which lies at the foot of the North Downs 3 miles (4.8 km) north east of Maidstone in the Borough of Maidstone and ceremonial county of Kent in England. It had a population of 1,085 in 2001 including Weavering, which increased to 1,205 following the 2011 Census.

Maidstone the county town of Kent, England

Maidstone is a large, historically important town in Kent, England, of which it is the county town. It lies 32 miles (51 km) east-south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the centre of the town, linking it with Rochester and the Thames Estuary. Historically, the river carried much of the town's trade as the centre of the agricultural county of Kent, known as the Garden of England. There is evidence of settlement in the area dating back before the Stone Age. The town, part of the borough of Maidstone, had a population of 113,137 in 2011. There has been a shift in the town's economy since the Second World War away from heavy industry towards light industry and services.

Kent County of England

Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west. The county also shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone.


It is a 12th-century flint-built castle constructed by Robert of Thurnham in the reign of Henry II on a hill on the edge of the North Downs. One side of the bailey wall still stands 10 foot high and originally it enclosed an area of about a quarter of an acre.

Flint Cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz

Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as the variety of chert that occurs in chalk or marly limestone. Flint was widely used historically to make stone tools and start fires.

Henry II of England 12th-century King of England, Duke of Aquitaine, and ruler of other European lands

Henry II, also known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, ruled as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou, Maine, and Nantes, and Lord of Ireland; at various times, he also partially controlled Scotland, Wales and the Duchy of Brittany. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would later come to be called the Angevin Empire.

North Downs ridge of chalk hills in south east England

The North Downs are a ridge of chalk hills in south east England that stretch from Farnham in Surrey to the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent. Westerham Heights, at the northern edge of the North Downs, near Bromley, South London, is the highest point in London at an elevation of 245 m (804 ft). The North Downs lie within two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs. The North Downs Way National Trail runs along the North Downs from Farnham to Dover.

In the 12th century, the site belonged to the de Say family and then the Thurnhams.

The site has been acquired by Kent County Council and included in the White Horse Millennium wood and Country Park Project. Much of the site has been cleared of undergrowth and public access has been provided.

See also

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