Tattershall Castle (England)

Lincolnshire     See list of castles in Inghilterra

Castle, now monument owned by National Trust. c.1440 built for Ralph Cromwell, Lord High Treasurer, on site of castle built by Robert Tateshale in 1231. Restored in 1911-25 by Lord Curzon. Red brick tower in English bond, with darker lattice lozenge decorations to upper parts, ashlar dressings, leaded roofs. Rectangular plan with facetted angle towers, originally with attached hall to courtyard side. 5 storey with undercroft, irregular 3 bay front with plinth, chamfered ashlar string course and embattled parapet with machicolated base. To ground floor 3 four centred arched doorways. In the plinth a small arched opening to undercroft, and above a small rectangular light. To first floor are 2 two light windows, one with moulded rectangular surround. To second and third floors are 3 two light windows all having cusped heads to the lights, central mullions and 4 centred arched surrounds. Above the machicolations are 8 cusped headed openings in moulded rectangular surrounds. In the tops of the angle towers are single cross shaped arrow loops and the embattled parapets have arcaded brick corbels. On the roof is a bank of 3 tall circular stacks with embattled tops.

To either side of the tower can be seen a section of the curtain wall with upper gallery having small rectangular loops with a wall walk above. In the left hand side wall are 3 single large 2 light windows to each floor, having cusped heads to the lights, panel traceried tops and concave moulded surrounds. In the right hand side are 2 large windows matching those to the left. Interior. Undercroft has wide brick segmental tunnel vault, with chambers off. Ground floor parlour has fine chimney piece of Ancaster stone bearing shields of Lord Cromwell and his ancestors. Shallow 4 centred moulded opening with crocketed ogee over. Rectangular shield bearing panel, flanked by half round columns with floriate capitals and having brattished top with frieze of fleurons. 4 centred arched openings to chambers off the parlour.

First floor, principal state room is reached by a turning stair in the north east turret with restored inset moulded ashlar handrail. The chimney piece is elaborately carved with grotesque heads on the capitals at either end. In the spandrels are representative carvings, and the panel across the lintel has armorial shields, brattished top with frieze of fleurons. On the north wall are corbels to support a baldequin over the high table. 4 centred brick openings to chambers off.

The second floor has a long passage on the east side with fine quadripartite brick vault with moulded ribs and ashlar shield bosses, restored. The Audience Chamber also has a fine chimney piece, bearing shields of arms. On the south wall are corbels to support a canopy over Lord Cromwell's dais. A garderobe chamber on the south side has been converted to a dovecote having side walls lined with mud and lath construction containing circular nesting boxes.

The third floor room, the withdrawing Room or Privy Chamber also contains a fine chimney piece. The window recesses in the west wall are elaborately brick vaulted with decorated bosses, and triskeles in the spandrels made of shaped bricks. Above is a roof gallery with covered walkway giving access to the machicolations, and upper walkway behind the embattled parapet, supported on chamfered brick piers with segmental arches. On the rear wall are 2 two light windows to eadch floor, with cusped heads to the lights, panel tracery and 4 centred arched heads. Cromwell employed a German, Baldwin Docheman, to superintend the brickmaking and he worked to foreign, possibly French, designs. The castle was last occupied in the C17, and in the years after 1912 restoration was undertaken by Lord Curzon under the direction of William Weir, architect.

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Useful infos

Latitude: 53.101348
Longitude: -0.193408
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Map of Tattershall Castle