Camps Castle is situated in the grounds of Castle Farm and can be accessed via the track-way that leads past All Saints Church. The site is a good example of a Norman motte and bailey castle which was enlarged in later years.
By the Gogmagog Hills, S.E. of Cambridge, are to be found the moat and the foundations of a castle, the ancient possession of the De Veres, Earls of Oxford (see HEDINGHAM ESSEX). The eldest son of Sir George Vere, who (temp. Henry VIII.) succeeded to the earldom, was called “Little John of Camps,” from his residence here. (Murray.) In Buck’s drawing of 1731, considerable remains are shown, but in 1738 the greater part of the ruins fell down. Camden says that this castle .vas given to Hugh de Vere, according to the inquisition, on condition that he should be chamberlain to the King, a post which Aubrey de Vere had obtained from Henry II.
This is said to have been the scene of the encounter between the knight and the spirit warrior of the jet-black steed as related in the account of Cambridge Castle.
Buck’s drawing shows a lofty rectangular tower of five stages, the two lower ones larger than the upper, with offsets and corbel mouldings marking the floor levels. The windows are square headed with double and triple lights, some having gables. There appears a long gabled building attached to the tower, having windows of a later date, and the whole is surrounded by an ancient brick wall and a moat. The place is the property of the Charterhouse, London. (Castles Of England, Sir James D. Mackenzie, 1896)