Plans of Herstmonceux Castle

Herstmonceux Castle has been described as the finest early brick building in England. Begun in 1441, it was partially dismantled in 1777. It remained a ruin until the early 20th century when it was converted back into a residence, the works being undertaken by two different owners (Claude Lowther and (Herbert) Paul Latham). The Castle and surrounding estate was occupied by the Royal Observatory from 1948 until the end of the 1980s when the Observatory was moved to Cambridge.


The Castle in 1776

Undated plans of the Castle prior to its partial demolition in the 1770s. They appear to have been copied from those drawn by James Lambert in 1776, but with some small changes to the annotation. From Crake's The castle and church of Hurstmonceux (c.1890)


The Castle following its rebuilding between 1910 & 1935

Walter Godfrey's plan showing the layout of the ground floor of the Castle following its restoration. Godfrey was the architect employed by Sir Paul Latham and was responsible for completing the restoration that had been begun by Claude Lowther. As well as the layout that existed in 1935, the plan also shows the buildings that once occupied the present courtyard prior to their destruction in 1777. A new great hall was built on the western side of the Castle rather than in its original position. Begun by Lowther, it was completed by Latham. When the Observatory occupied the Castle, the hall was used to house the library (following a strengthening of its floor). The position of the staircase installed in the Staircase Hall by Lowther's architects was altered by Godfrey to the that shown here. From The Archaeological Journal Vol. 99 (1942)

From Country Life, 14 December 1935