Keep or Great Tower, Tattershall Castle

Record ID:  60599 / MNA112563
Record type:  Building
Protected Status: Listed Building: Grade I, Scheduled Monument
NT Property:  Tattershall Castle; Midlands
Civil Parish:  Tattershall; East Lindsey; Lincolnshire
Grid Reference:  TF 2105 5754
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Summary

This prominent brick tower is Tattershall Castle's keep, it is dated to 1440 when it was built for Ralph, Lord Cromwell, Lord Treasurer to Henry VI as an addition to the existing Hall and Chambers within the castle. As a major visual and functional addition to the castle, it provided suites of chambers on five floors, with a large roof gallery above. The building, occupied until the 17th century, was roofless and without floors by the 19th century. The fireplaces were removed by speculators in the early 20th century, after which the site (and fireplaces) were acquired by Lord Curzon, restored by William Weir between 1911 and 1914, and bequeathed to the National Trust.

Identification Images (1)

Great Tower, Tattershall Castle (2017) © National Trust
Great Tower, Tattershall Castle (2017) © National Trust

Monument Types

  • TOWER KEEP (Medieval to Mid 16th C - 1440 AD to 1539 AD)

Description

This prominent brick tower is Tattershall Castle's keep it is dated to 1440 where it was built for Ralph, Lord Cromwell, Lord Treasurer to Henry VI.

The description has been updated form the Conservation Management plan of 2008:
The Keep of Tattershall Castle was built by Lord Cromwell in the 1430s-40s as an addition to the existing Hall and Chambers within the castle. As a major visual and functional addition to the castle, it provided suites of chambers on five floors, with a large roof gallery above. The building, occupied until the 17th century, was roofless and without floors by the 19th century. The fireplaces were removed by speculators in the early 20th century, after which the site (and fireplaces) were acquired by Lord Curzon, restored by William Weir between 1911 and 1914, and bequeathed to the National Trust.The tower is built of locally made bricks and consists of a large chamber on each of the five floors, with rooms in the corner turrets and passages or chambers in the thick east wall. Brick ribbed vaults are used in windows and passages, and plain arched vaults in the chambers. Floors have been reconstructed with timber joists and lime floors. No attempt was made to reproduce a pitched roof on the top floor, which has a covering of pitch. The turret roofs, shown on early views, were not restored. Windows were re-glazed with armorial glass. (1)

References

  • SNA63956 - Report: Oxford Archaeology. 2009. Tattershall Castle Lincolnshire: Conservation Plan.

  • SNA64184 - Geophysical Survey Report: Allen, Mark (Allen Archaeological Associates). 2009. Geophysical Surveys at Tattershall Castle.

  • SNA66209 - Monograph: I. K. Bailiff. 2007. Methodological Developments in the Luminescence Dating of Brick from English Late-Medieval & Post-Medieval Buildings.

  • SNA68013 - Article in monograph: Marquis Curzon of Kedleston and H. Avray Tipping. 1929. Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire: A Historical and Descriptive survey.

  • SNA68753 - Article in serial: James Wright. 2020. Tattershall Castle and the Newly-Built Personality of Ralph Lord Cromwell.

  • SNA68797 - Article in serial: Pamela Marshall. 2020. The 15th-century Great Tower at Tattershall Castle: Aspiration, Display and the Practicalities of Social Distinction. Chateau Gaillard 29.

  • SZE8937 - Unpublished document: L Smith. 1987. National Trust Archaeological Survey: Tattershall Castle. 1 of 1.

Designations

Other Statuses and References

  • Conservation Area
  • National Monuments Record Reference: TF25NW1

Associated Events

  • ENA5791 - Field Survey, Geophysical Surveys at Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire (2009) (Ref: TACA 09 (Lincs HER))
  • ENA5793 - Field Survey, Cataloguing Tattershall Castle's Archaeological Collection from the 1912-1914 Excavations (Ref: TCA 08)
  • ENA7748 - Field Survey, National Trust Field Survey, Tattershall Castle
  • ENA6201 - Archaeological Intervention, Archaeological watching brief at Tattershall Castle - laying of cable trench from the road to the Keep
  • ENA7755 - Archaeological Intervention, Luminescence Dating of Brick from Tattershall Castle (Ref: Archaeometry 49)

Associated Finds

None Recorded

Related Records

None Recorded