Eynsford Castle, Kent

Eynsford Castle is a bit of a curious beast.  It is very early for a stone Castle - much of it built in 1100-1130.  But the Castle has almost featureless walls.  Few windows, no crenellations, few of the normal trappings of Castle building.

Very little of interest seems to have occurred here.  It was owned by a succession of William de Eynfords from I (1100 onwards) to VII (circa 1250).  This last had to reconstruct the great hall after a fire.  He died in 1261 and the Eynsford story became very complicated; split in two between William's daughters for many years the Castle was part-owned by two different families, a situation which didn't change until 1312 when the whole confusion bubbled into violence.

Local judge William Inge owned one half of the property, leased from the de Eynsford heir Ralph de Sandwich.  The other half was owned by the other heir Nicholas Criol.  de Sandwich allowed the Criol's to live there for a piece.  When Inge bought his share he became obstructive to the Criol's occupation.  In 1312 Nicholas Criol ransacked Eynsford Castle (and Inge's other properties at Ightham and Stansted).  A lot of damage was done and Eynsford never really recovered.

The Castle is owned by English Heritage and is open at any reasonable time - admission free.

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