ALLINGTON CASTLE

Kent

Allington Castle, Kent

Allington Castle is one of Kent's forgotten Castles, partly due to the fact that it hasn't been generally accessible for some years now.

A motte Castle was built here at around the time of the Anarchy, but this was pulled down by Henry II.  In 1282 Stephen de Pentchester was given licence to crenellate his existing house, and he built the basic Castle we see today to a quadrangle plan, with a strong Gatehouse in stead of a keep.  The Castle also has one of the earliest uses of brick in any building, let alone a Castle!

In 1492 Allington came into the hands of the Wyatt family.  Sir Henry Wyatt added great amounts to the Castle including the long gallery.  It was this Allington which received such luminaries as Henrys VII and VIII and Cardinal Wolsey.

Sir Thomas Wyatt (senior) inherited the Castle in 1537.  His political career was most certainly one of ups and downs.  He was one of Anne Boleyn's lovers before her marriage to the King and was imprisoned in the Tower of London for his pains.  Later he was released and banished to Allington, but he must have come back into favour for large parts of the Medway Valley were granted to him later.  His son, also Thomas (junior) led the protest against Queen Mary's marriage to Philip of Spain.  The rebellion was ill-fated and Sir Thomas junior too found himself in The Tower - but he never came back out again.

The Castle passed through a succession of owners, but gradually became ruinous.  In May 1905 Sir Martin Conway, later Lord Conway, arrived and rebuilt the Castle, although it took him 30 years.  His rebuilding was little short of superb, and Allington is probably the most convincing re-build job done on any English Castle.

In 1951 the Carmelite Fathers of nearby Aylesford Priory bought Allington. They sold it in 1999 to a private buyer who unfortunately is showing no plans of opening the Castle to the public at present.

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© Text copyright - Raving Loony Productions, Andrew J. Müller and Roy Barton
© Photos and Artwork - Andrew J. Müller and Roy Barton
© Web Design and Layout - Andrew J. Müller
2009


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