Now in the hands of the Landmark Trust, Astley Castle is undergoing restoration.
Ruins of a country house, surrounded by a moat and defensive wall. Originally a 13th and 14th century fortified house, licenced in 1266, it was altered in the 15th to 17th centuries and remodelled as a country house circa 1820. The bridge, gatehouse and curtain walls are 13th to 14th century.
The existing castle is probably not older in date than Queen Mary’s reign. The entrance into the court is by a stone bridge with embattled parapets, and a similar crenellated parapet runs along the top of the building, which is a plain square block with heavy mullioned windows, the rooms cold and gloomy as in most of the sixteenth-century structures. On the staircase are still kept the writing table and chair found in an old oak tree in which the Duke of Suffolk hid after the failure of the Kentish rising under Wyatt. (Castles Of England, Sir James D. Mackenzie, 1896)
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