Ancient Monuments

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Hapton Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Hapton, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.7792 / 53°46'45"N

Longitude: -2.3226 / 2°19'21"W

OS Eastings: 378840.030267

OS Northings: 431475.617202

OS Grid: SD788314

Mapcode National: GBR DS6R.Z0

Mapcode Global: WH96Y.988N

Entry Name: Hapton Castle

Scheduled Date: 7 February 1979

Last Amended: 2 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013816

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27679

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Hapton

Built-Up Area: Hapton

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Padiham with Hapton and Padiham Green

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn


The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of Hapton Castle. It
is located on a small plateau immediately to the east of the rocky ravine of
Castle Clough and includes a roughly oval flat platform surrounded on two
sides by a substantial ditch. The platform measures approximately 40m
north-south by 30m east-west and contains a 4m length of the castle's stone
walling standing up to five courses high on its south side and another short
piece of walling, now turf covered, on its east side. The platform is
surrounded on the south and part of the east sides by a dry ditch up to 14m
wide and 4m deep. This ditch has been infilled on the north and part of the
east sides. On the west side, immediately above the ravine, the monument's
defences consist of an earthen bank up to 2m wide by 1m high and an internal
ditch c.1m wide.
Hapton Castle is thought to have been in existence in 1328 when Gilbert de la
Leigh purchased Hapton from John Talbot. It was the seat of the Lords of
Hapton until the erection of Hapton Tower c.2.5km to the south east in 1510.
The building was still inhabited in 1667 but was in ruins by 1725 and no
longer existed in 1800. The castle is thought to have consisted of a stone
tower keep and a stout wooden palisade or stone wall enclosing a yard.
A post and wire fence on the monument's western side is excluded from the
scheduling but the ground beneath it is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A tower keep castle is a strongly fortified residence in which the keep is the
principal defensive feature. The keep may be free-standing or surrounded by a
defensive enclosure; they are normally square in shape, although other shapes
are known. Internally they have several floors providing accommodation of
various types. If the keep has an attached enclosure this will normally be
defined by a defensive wall, frequently with an external ditch. Access into
the enclosure was provided by a bridge across the ditch, allowing entry via a
gatehouse. Additional buildings, including stabling for animals and workshops,
may be found within the enclosure. Tower keep castles were built throughout
the medieval period, from immediately after the Norman Conquest to the mid-
15th century, with a peak in the middle of the 12th century. A few were
constructed on the sites of earlier earthwork castle types but most were new
creations. They provided strongly fortified residences for the king or leading
families and occur in both urban or rural situations. Tower keep castles are
widely dispersed throughout England with a major concentration on the Welsh
border. They are rare nationally with only 104 recorded examples. Considerable
diversity of form is exhibited with no two examples being exactly alike. With
other castle types, they are major medieval monument types which, belonging to
the highest levels of society, frequently acted as major administrative
centres and formed the foci for developing settlement patterns. Castles
generally provide an emotive and evocative link to the past and can provide a
valuable educational resource, both with respect to medieval warfare and
defence, and to wider aspects of medieval society. All examples retaining
significant remains of medieval date are considered to be nationally

Despite a combination of stone robbing and part infilling of the defensive
ditch, the site of Hapton Castle survives reasonably well and remains largely
unencumbered by modern development. It will retain buried remains of the
medieval castle which is known to have been occupied from the 14th to the 17th

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Lancashire: Volume IV, (1911), 507
Ainsworth, R, The Old Homesteads of Accrington and District, (1928), 387
Whittaker, TD, History of Whalley, (1801), 63-4
Ordnance Survey Record Card Ref No. SD 73 SE 11, Ordnance Survey, Hapton Castle,

Source: Historic England

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