Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Herstmonceux Castle

Located near Herstmonceux, East Sussex, England, this brick-made structure was said to be built during the Tudor era, around the 16th century. Today, the castle is surrounded by plants, garden and Lake used to be the home of Royal Greenwich Observatory.

Now, this ancient royal edifice is used by the Bader International study centre of the Queen's University. This is one of the last remaining brick building still standing today in England. According to a source, this structure was build primarily for grandeur and comfort than for war defences.

The castle passed through many owners since the medieval period. From the Monceux noble family to Fiennes family until it was confiscated by King Henry VIII. The castle was restored to the Fiennes family after the King's death, but few years later,  the castle was sold due to the Fiennes's heirs' disability to finance the maintenance of the castle. It was acquired by a lawyer named George Nayor who made the extensive renovation, but in 1777, the castle was dismantled. 

It was restored and reconstructed only in the 20th century and transformed it into an elegant private residence, adding interiors and courtyard, of Lieutenant-Colonel Claude Lowther. In 1929, it was sold to Reginald Lawson then to a British Baronet and Member of Parliament, Sir Paul Latham in 1932. In 1946, the castle was sold to the Admiralty (authority of the United Kingdom, responsible for the command of the British Royal Navy) for and in 1957, it became the home of the Royal Observatory of Greenwich until 1988 when the observatory moved to Cambridge. Hersmonceux Castle was then occupied by the International Study Centre of the Queen's University (based in Canada) housing the undergraduate and graduate studies.