Knepp Castle

Knepp Castle is located in Shipley, West Sussex. There is evidence at the site of human occupation from Saxon times. The castle itself, was built after the Norman conquest by William de Broase, one of William the Conqueror's chief lieutenants. William de Broase primary castle was at Bramber, but he used Knepp as hunting lodge. In Norman times the land around the castle was forested and well stocked with deer and boar. 

In 1209 King John seized all the de Broase property and subsequently allowed his friends and supporters rights to hunt at the castle. When it looked as if John might loose the castle in his war with the barons, he ordered Knepp destroyed, but it is unlikely this order was carried out, as King John died shortly after the order was issued.

Shortly before his death, John restored the de Broase property was returned to the de Broase family. The de Broase name died out in the late fourteenth century and the castle passed to the Mowbray and later, the Howard lines. It is not know when the castle fell into ruin, but it has been in a ruined state at least since the early eighteenth century.

The castle is on private land, but can be seen from the nearby A24 road. Shown above are all that remains of Knepp Castle. The weather vane has been a feature since early victorian times.

Photograph © Copyright Simon Carey and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.

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