#148 Maxstoke Castle
Warwickshire, England
1345
This is NOT an official Lego site

In February 1345, King Edward III granted to William de Clinton a license "to crenellate a dwelling place for the use of John de Clynton, nephew of the [childless] Earl of Huntingdon." John indeed inherited the castle upon his uncle's death in 1354. William de Clinton was held in high esteem by the Edward III: On the night of October 19, 1330, he was one of a band of young supporters of the then-teenage King who entered Nottingham Castle [which see], arrested Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, and conveyed him to the Tower of London whence, after trial, he was hanged for overthrowing (and probably ordering the murder of) King Edward II. William de Clinton was subsequently active in both administrative and military support of the King and England, and in March 1337 was created Earl of Huntingdon.
Described by Plantagenet Somerset Fry in his "Castles of Britain and Ireland" as "one of the earliest fortified houses...to be built", Maxstoke may well have been a model for the quintessential fortified manor house, Bodiam Castle [which see] in East Sussex, built just 40 years later! Maxstoke is a virtually square castle, measuring 180 by 180 feet. She rests upon a small island in the middle of a wide and deep moat, fed by a small stream. At each corner there is an octagonal tower, with a tall turreted gatehouse in the middle of the east curtain. The first floor was the quarters for the constable, with access to the wall walks. The dovecot occupied the second story. Originally two-story buildings occupied the other three sides of the courtyard, though part of the north range and the south range vanished long ago. Used as a residence virtually continuously since it was built, the remaining residential ranges have been remodeled and renovated many times.
The castle was occupied by the Clinton family until 1438, when one of John de Clynton's great grandsons exchanged the castle for two manors in Northamptonshire, and Maxstoke became the property of the Dukes of  Buckingham. Twice during next 83 years the powerful Dukes were executed for high treason against the King, and the castle forfeited to the Crown, the second time granted to Sir William Compton in 1521. The castle was neglected by the three generations of Lord Comptons, who had many other properties, and in 1599 the castle was sold to Sir Thomas Dilke of Coleshill for 5,500. Maxstoke Castle has remained in the Dilke (and later Fetherston-Dilke) family for over 400 years! The castle was endangered when Thomas' son, William, allowed Maxstoke to be garrisoned by Lord Brooke in 1648, during the Civil War. William pledged 2,000 that the castle would not again by occupied by the Royalists, and the Council of State did not order Maxstoke destroyed. Rarely open to the public, the current owners Michael and Rosemary Fetherston-Dilke were kind enough to allow my wife and me to visit in May 2015. Most of the pictures on this page were taken during our tour with Michael.
Michael Fetherston-Dilke and
I explore the castle.
A nice panorama of Maxstoke's residential ranges doubtless
taken on one of the charity days Maxstoke is open to the public.
Rosemary Fetherston-Dilke's
formal garden near the castle.
Plan of Maxstoke Castle
dated 1939
An undated plan of
the castle
A third plan - all show a
few different things
An undated (but old) elevation of the
west and north residential ranges

 

Photos of the Lego Model
to be built August, 2015
Construction begins on August 8
with the basic outline of the castle...
...Followed by the outline of the
island upon which the castle rests.
The next day begins by
defining the courtyard.
The first actually construction
is the small garden areas
on the east curtain, and the
gatehouse passage.
Day two ends after much work
on the gatehouse towers...
...And the passage with doors
to the guard rooms, and stair
to the constable's quarters.
On August 10 more work is done of the
Dairy and Deadman's Towers...
...And the castle is now
protected by a counter-
weighted wooden drawbridge!
On the following day the courtyard
is added to Maxstoke, and...
...The half-timber north and south
residential ranges begin to form.
By August 15 considerable work
has been done on the front towers
and south curtain...
...as well as definition
of the courtyard ranges.
As the gatehouse grows and
becomes better defined...
...green Lego has been freed up
from another project,...
...and work begins in earnest on
the back of the castle.
At the end of August 20, major
progress has occurred in
several areas:
Deadman's Tower is embattled,
the Dairy Tower has a roof, and
the Kitchen Tower is ready to roof.
The West Curtain is also defined
with Great Hall  and chapel
windows, etc.
As I head for a brief vacation in
Seattle on August 25, a lot of
roofing has been completed...
...And the Lady Tower has
reached its full height, sans
battlements.
The courtyard ranges are almost
ready for minifig sized de Clyntons
and their minions.
As I wait for the black tiles
to complete the roof, work
resumes on the gatehouse.

 

Photos of the Lego Model
Completed August 8, 2015
I love the view of Maxstoke from the
east [front] -- and my model as well.
I think the ESE view shows off
both the gatehouse and its
wooden bridge very well.
The SSE view shows off Maxstoke's
rare combination of military utility
and residential quality.
The southwest view highlights
the symmetry of Maxstoke's
island home.
From the west I've tried to capture
the castle as she might have looked
about 1400.
The Lady Tower at the NW corner
of Maxstoke is an excellent place
to watch for unwanted visitors.
From the NNW one can appreciate
the myriad chimneys which sprout
from the residential areas.
ANd we return to the counter-
weighted drawbridge and
dominant gatehouse.
I've interpreted the long-gone
south range as stables and
servant quarters.
The north range, partially
absent in more modern
times is for guests.
And the main block on the west
side of the courtyard is reserved
for the Lord and his family.
The gatehouse housed
the constable, and
later a dovecot.
I feel I did a pretty good
job of recreating the stair-
case to the tower roofs.

 

Build Your Own
Lego Plan
East Elevation
South Elevation
North Elevation
West-East Cross Section


Other Maxstoke Castle pages:
http://www.maxstoke.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxstoke_Castle
https://handedon.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/packington-hall-via-maxstoke-castle-warwickshire/

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Castles created by Robert Carney
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Robert Carney