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AMBERLEY CASTLE

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A manor house of the Bishops of Chichester, still retained in the south east corner of the present castle, dates to circa 1140. This building was altered in 1200 and 1330. Bishop William Rede gained a licence to crenellate in 1377, and built the present castle between 1377-1382. The castle is a quadrilateral plan with a right-angled south east corner, originally with internal corner towers of which only the north west and south east survive. In the centre of the north wall is a projecting garderobe, the projection east of it being the kitchen. In the south wall two projecting semi-circular towers flank the gateway. The curtain wall is surrounded by a dry moat which always lacked a drawbridge. The occupied parts of the castle in the south east corner were remodelled in the 16th century, and have been altered several times since, particularly in 1927. A cottage occupies the possible site of the chapel. The ruins of the free-standing Great Hall occupy the eastern half of the site, and are mainly late 14th century. Bishop Sherburn was the last Bishop to occupy the castle as a residence, it being leased thereafter. The upper walls have been restored and recrenellated since the 1643 slighting.

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