Cooling Castle

Cooling Castle

Cooling Castle lies next to the hamlet of the same name, in the county of Kent in England.

Cooling Castle was built during the 1380's by John Cobham, 3rd baron Cobham, who was a local lord. At that time the castle was situated on the south bank of the Thames river which has since receded over 3 kms to the north, due to land reclamation. The castle was meant to guard the area against French raids during the Hundred Years' War. A previous raid had already devastated the area in 1379.

In the early 15th century the Cobhams died out. The Cobham title remained intact but the castle passed to other families down the female line from then on.

In 1554 Cooling Castle was the home of George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham. It was then besieged by a force of some 4000 men led by Thomas Wyatt the Younger, a nephew of the Baron, during the Wyatt's Rebellion. Wyatt had the castle bombarbed by 2 cannons and the small defensive force of the castle surrendered after just 8 hours. Wyatt, who had been on his way to London in a bid to overthrow the unpopular Queen Mary I of England, then marched on to his original destination where he was subsequently defeated and executed for treason.

Afterwards Baron Cobham and his son were shortly imprisoned in the Tower of London, on suspicion of having deliberately failed to defend the castle. The castle, damaged by the siege, was then abandoned by the Baron. Thus it was allowed to fall into disrepair after which it fell to ruin. The Baron Cobhams maintained ownership of Cooling Castle until the 18th century.

The castle had an unusual layout, comprising two walled wards of unequal size next to each other, in earlier times all surrounded by moats and ditches. In the 17th century a mansion was built within the outer ward, near the inner ward. A barn with outbuildings was also built at the end of that century within the outer ward. At some point in the 18th or 19th centuries, part of the inner ward was landscaped, possibly to create a garden incorporating the ruins.

Today, ownership of the site is split three ways; the inner ward, the mansion in the outer ward (which is owned by the musician, band leader and tv-presenter Jools Holland) and the barn, also in the outer ward. The barn is now used as a wedding venue.

At present all of Cooling Castle is private property and is not open to the public. The gatehouse of the outer ward is now the entrance to the mansion and its most easily visible part. The inner ward can be seen to the left of that gatehouse. There are 2 ruined corner towers of the outer ward to the right of that gatehouse. Too bad the inner ward can not be visited. The gatehouse is beautiful.


Gallery

Cooling Castle

Cooling Castle

Cooling Castle lies next to the hamlet of the same name, in the county of Kent in England.

Cooling Castle was built during the 1380's by John Cobham, 3rd baron Cobham, who was a local lord. At that time the castle was situated on the south bank of the Thames river which has since receded over 3 kms to the north, due to land reclamation. The castle was meant to guard the area against French raids during the Hundred Years' War. A previous raid had already devastated the area in 1379.

In the early 15th century the Cobhams died out. The Cobham title remained intact but the castle passed to other families down the female line from then on.

In 1554 Cooling Castle was the home of George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham. It was then besieged by a force of some 4000 men led by Thomas Wyatt the Younger, a nephew of the Baron, during the Wyatt's Rebellion. Wyatt had the castle bombarbed by 2 cannons and the small defensive force of the castle surrendered after just 8 hours. Wyatt, who had been on his way to London in a bid to overthrow the unpopular Queen Mary I of England, then marched on to his original destination where he was subsequently defeated and executed for treason.

Afterwards Baron Cobham and his son were shortly imprisoned in the Tower of London, on suspicion of having deliberately failed to defend the castle. The castle, damaged by the siege, was then abandoned by the Baron. Thus it was allowed to fall into disrepair after which it fell to ruin. The Baron Cobhams maintained ownership of Cooling Castle until the 18th century.

The castle had an unusual layout, comprising two walled wards of unequal size next to each other, in earlier times all surrounded by moats and ditches. In the 17th century a mansion was built within the outer ward, near the inner ward. A barn with outbuildings was also built at the end of that century within the outer ward. At some point in the 18th or 19th centuries, part of the inner ward was landscaped, possibly to create a garden incorporating the ruins.

Today, ownership of the site is split three ways; the inner ward, the mansion in the outer ward (which is owned by the musician, band leader and tv-presenter Jools Holland) and the barn, also in the outer ward. The barn is now used as a wedding venue.

At present all of Cooling Castle is private property and is not open to the public. The gatehouse of the outer ward is now the entrance to the mansion and its most easily visible part. The inner ward can be seen to the left of that gatehouse. There are 2 ruined corner towers of the outer ward to the right of that gatehouse. Too bad the inner ward can not be visited. The gatehouse is beautiful.


Gallery