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CHRISTCHURCH CASTLE

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  CHRISTCHURCH CASTLE AND NORMAN HOUSE
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Christchurch Castle is a motte and bailey castle situated between the estuaries of the River Avon and Stour at Christchurch. The castle is situated to the north east of Christchurch Priory (Monument Number 458556) and was constructed by Richard de Redvers in around AD 1100. The motte mound has maximum dimensions of 50 metres in diameter and approximately 5 metres in height and may, originally, have supported a timber tower. The motte was enlarged to its present size in order to accommodate the stone rubble keep or tower which was built after AD 1300. The bailey occupied the area to the north east of the motte. To the north east is the well preserved structure of the Norman great hall which dates from circa AD 1160. The hall is aligned north west by south east and has maximum dimensions of 18.5 metres by 7 metres. The structure is likely to have provided the main accommodation of the Norman castle and it continued in use over a long period. It later became the residence of the Constable and is now often known as 'The Constable's House'. The structure features one of only five Norman chimneys still surviving in England. The castle was besieged and captured by Walter de Pinkney in 1148. Subsequently, although re-fortified, it became a residence and played little strategic role in later conflicts. Despite playing little part in the Civil War, the castle was ordered to be demolished by Parliament in 1651, when its defences were levelled. The area was used as public gardens for much of the 20th century. The site is in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.