Guildford Castle

Artizen HDR Lock05.


Guildford Castle is an 11th century earthwork motte and bailey fortress, founded by William the Conqueror. In the early 12th century, King Henry I founded the stone castle when adding a polygonal shell keep to the motte. In the 1130s, a two storey square keep, was built on the slope of the motte, flanking the shell keep and an outer bailey added, encased by a ditch. In the 13th century, King Henry III ordered many improvements to the domestic buildings and the outer bailey was extend, flanked by a new gatehouse. In the 14th century, the royal residence in the outer bailey, known has The Palace and was detached from the castle, by a palisade and ditch. By 1379, all the castle had fallen into disrepair, except for the king's great chamber and the great tower, which continued to be the county gaol.

In 1611 the castle was bought by a Guildford merchant, Francis Carter, who attempted to convert the keep into a private residence. This proved unsuccessful, and in 1630 the roof and floors were removed. In 1885 the ruins were bought by Guildford Borough Council who turned the castle into a park.

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Taken on February 27, 2008