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A castle stood in the North part of Dorchester, the prison now occupying its site. Between 1154-75 it was in possession of the Earl of Cornwall and had become a royal possession by 1185. According to Hutchins, the castle occupied 6 acres, had a prominent mound, the defences being oval in shape, which implies that it was a motte and bailey. The earliest documentary evidence is of 1137 when it was strengthened by the Count of Gloucester. There are several references to it in the reigns of both John and Henry III, particularly to expenditure on repairs to buildings in the castle rather than repairs to the defences. It appears to have been disused from about 1290, and there are references to its stonework being reused to build the Greyfriars in 1309. Excavations have located the main ditch in two places.

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