The substantial stone walls of a very early Norman ‘enclosure castle’, begun c.1085-7 and unusually little altered by later building works. This rare survival stands in an attractive village setting, not far from Lullingstone Roman Villa.
This place is a little S. of Dartford, in the valley of the Darenth, where the ancient road from London to Maidstone crosses that stream. Near the river are the remains of the walls, enclosing about three-quarters of an acre, which formed the Castle of Eynsford, and there are also fragments in the centre of its square Norman keep, built of flints, in which Roman bricks are mingled. Round the whole went a large moat, supplied by the Darenth, but this has been tilled up, and converted into an orchard.
The castle and manor belonged to the See of Canterbury, and were held under the church by a family called D’Eynsford, until the reign of Edward 1., when they passed into the hands of the great Kentish family of Criol (sec WESTENHANGER). Thereafter they became the property of many different owners, but the castle appears to have been neglected and ruinous at an early date. (Castles Of England, Sir James D. Mackenzie, 1896)
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