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Herstmonceux castle

Herstmonceux castle (Sussex) was built mid-15th cent. by Sir Roger de Fiennes. Despite moat, battlements, and turrets, it was a defensible country home rather than a strong castle. One of the largest houses of its time, the stately, rose-hued Herstmonceux was an early and fine example of brickwork, a novel building material in England then. Neglected for some years, parts were dismantled in 1777. The castle remained a ruin until 1913 when some work was done, then extensive restoration undertaken by Sir Paul Latham in 1933, with the architect Walter Godfrey. The only radical change made was to have one large courtyard instead of four of differing sizes. The Royal Observatory in 1948 moved from Greenwich to Herstmonceux where it remained for some forty years.

Audrey MacDonald

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