Sutton Valence Castle

Type:Castle / Fort

Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3LW
Sutton Valence Castle

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About

This is an imposing ruined castle with a history dating from the 12th century. The great tower, which is the major remaining part of the structure, was once part of a much larger castle, which probably included an inner and outer bailey, and possibly a barbican.

It is thought to have been built by the Norman Count of Aumale, Baldwin de Bethune and was used as a residence for over 150 years by a succession of important lords and earls. It was frequently passed on through marriage and in 1238 the castle was owned by Simon de Montfort, the sixth Earl of Leicester and as leader of the baronial rebellion against Henry III he was killed at the Battle of Evesham and the castle was confiscated by the Crown.

Henry III then conferred the castle on his half-brother, William de Valence, as a reward for his support during the rebellion. The village of Sutton, or 'south town', became known as Sutton Valence. William de Valence's family lived here for a number of years as they travelled between their estates until about 1315, which was well recorded.

After this date, very little is known about the history of the castle.
Free entry. Open dawn to dusk.

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Map & Directions

Road Directions

5 miles south-east of Maidstone, in Sutton Valence village, on A274

Public Transport Directions

Arriva 12 Maidstone – Tenterden (passes Headcorn railway station)

Opening Times

Maidstone (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)

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