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KIRBY MUXLOE CASTLE

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The standing and buried remains of a quadrangular castle and its associated leat and outlet channel. The manor of Kirby Muxloe was owned by the Pakeman family during the 14th century and the foundations of the hall of their stone-built manor house, constructed within a moat, are visible in the courtyard of the quadrangular castle which replaced it in the 15th century. In circa 1460 Kirby Muxloe Castle passed to the Hastings family through inheritance. Although a licence to crenellate was obtained in 1474, work did not begin at Kirby Muxloe until 1480. The earlier hall was initially retained but demolished later in order to use the stone for the foundations of the new buildings. In 1483, following the death of Edward IV, William Hastings was beheaded by the new monarch, Richard III, at which time Kirby Muxloe Castle stood incomplete and the site was abandoned shortly afterwards. The external dimensions of the site are 110 metres north east-south west by 90 metres north west-south east. The waterfilled moat arms are up to 21 metres wide and the inner face is revetted in brick. The moat is fed by a 110 metre long leat which connects with the stream to the south of the castle. The moated island is rectangular in plan and measures 80 metres by 60 metres. Although Kirby Muxloe Castle was never completed, the standing remains provide evidence for the layout of the site. Most of the foundations had been laid, the gatehouse largely built, and the western tower wholly built when work was brought to an abrupt halt by the execution of the owner. Except for the stone dressings, it has been constructed throughout in brick and is one of a group of early brick buildings in the Midlands. It is clear from accounts of the time that the towers were intended to carry artillery. During a restoration of 1911-13, the foundations were consolidated, the moat re-cut, and a replica bridge was built. The bridge was repaired in 2006.

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