Betchworth Castle


Betchworth Castle

Betchworth Castle is a ruin of a fortified medieval house, near Brockham, built on a sandstone spur overlooking the western (right) bank of the River Mole, Surrey, UK. The ruin is in Betchworth Park Golf Course, off Castle Gardens, about 4 miles (6 km) west of Reigate. The site is accessible in daylight hours, with roadside car parking. Public access to the site was granted through a land deal in 2005 with Betchworth Park Golf Club.

Visitors can also canoe down the river from Brockham, land when they see the promontory, and press overland across the tenth fairway of the golf course. As the picture shows, that route can be somewhat nettlesome. The entire ruin is surrounded by sturdy railings, to exclude a close approach for safety reasons. Much of the masonry is poised to fall; there are subterranean cellars that could collapse at any moment. Some of them already have.

History

Betchworth (or Beechworth etc) Castle the seat of the manor West Betchworth and was held by Richard de Tonbridge at the time of the Domesday Survey. It started as an earthwork fortress built by Robert Fitz Gilbert in the 11th century. It was turned into a stone castle in 1379 by Sir John Fitzalan. The castle or fortified house was rebuilt, by Sir Thomas Browne in the 15th century.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, people had little practical use for castles any more, and this one was outshone by a newer bigger house in the larger grounds. Some of it was demolished, and without a permanent tenant, the rest of it gradually fell into ruin. Not an unusual fate for a castle.

External Links

* [http://www.castleuk.net/castle_lists_south/187/betchworth.html Betchworth Castle at CastleUK]
* [http://pastscape.english-heritage.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=397422 Betchworth Castle at Pastscape]
* [http://homepage.mac.com/philipdavis/English%20sites/3447.html Betchworth Castle at The Gatehouse]

References

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=42946&strquery=browne%20betchworthhttp://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/BROWNE-ENG/2003-09/1064173871


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