Queenborough Castle

Old Queenborough Castle

Queenborough Castle History

Edward III built Queenborough Castle on the Isle of Sheppey, in 1366. Its principal aim was to protect the estuary against French raids.

Named after Queen Philippa, the Royal Borough was given its charter in 1368, but the town did not grow as expected with only 23 houses by 1571.

The castle was held directly by the crown and constables were appointed to manage it.

The first was Sir John de Foxle, in 1364, followed by John of Gaunt. A number of eminent persons were appointed thereafter, including Sir William Le Scrope, who was also lord chamberlain, he was beheaded by Henry IV; Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury; Sir Humphrey de Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who was also Constable of Dover and Warden of the Cinque Ports.

In 1450, Jack Cade stormed the castle, following his uprising that began at Sevenoaks where he and 2000 people mobbed royalist troops. A royal pardon was given to quell the rising and it was thought to have been suppressed.

However, Jack with a remnant of his followers attacked the castle, which was successfully defended by Sir Roger Chamberleyn and two men.

In 1530, Henry VIII had the castle repaired to help strengthen his defenses and in 1588, Queen Elizabeth I, had repairs carried out at the time of the Armada.

Queenborough Castle Today

Nothing now remains of the castle as it was condemned and destroyed by Cromwell’s parliamentary forces in 1650 during the Civil War.

The castle site now accommodates the railway station.

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