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ALLINGTON CASTLE

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A square fortified country house with a moat connecting to the River Medway. The first castle on the site is believed to have been a motte and bailey constructed between 1135 and 1154. This was demolished by Henry II, having been erected without royal licence. Subsequently a small unfortified manor house was built on the site. The present structure was erected by Stephen de Penchester between 1279 and 1299, with further alterations and additions in the early 14th century and after 1492. It was forfeited to the crown in 1554 at Sir Thomas Wyatt's rebellion, subsequently becoming two farmhouses. Eventually falling into ruins, it was restored between 1905 and 1929 by Lord Conway and his architects W. D. Caroe and Philip Tilden. The site was sold to the Carmelite Order in 1951 and was home to a community of friars for a number of years, by the early years of the 21st century it was in private ownership. Allington Castle currently comprises a series of buildings ranged around the inside of the courtyards with a curtain wall connecting them and with semi-circular towers facing the moat. In the south west corner is Solomon's Tower which, at four storeys, is taller than the other towers. The restored gatehouse, approached by barbican and stone bridge over the moat, is in the north west corner. The lower portions of the gatehouse date from the 12th century.

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