Drone Footage: Kirby Muxloe Castle, Leicestershire

Kirby Muxloe Castle sits in the village of Kirby Muxloe in Leicestershire, England. This is the first English castle I have visited and as you will see it is so much different from many of the other castles I have been to so far.

From the materials used in construction right through to its defensive capabilities, this castle takes a much different approach to its Scottish counterparts. The drone footage below is not perfect but none the less I still wanted to share it.

At first the area seems quite innocuous being situated across from a pub and just off a housing estate. However when you get closer I got the sense that this castle was something special. In fact English Heritage considers it to be a spectacular example of a late medieval quadrangular castle of the highest status.

The significance of this castle stems from its links with William Hastings (c. 1431 – c. June 1483) who was one of the most powerful and richest men in England at the time. Work to construct the castle begun in 1480 until 1483 when William was executed. The castle was therefore never fully completed. I suppose this is the castle that never was.

The castle was constructed around a pre-existing manor house, the foundations of which are still visible in the castle lawns. The first striking element of the area is the moat which surrounds the castle, two dams were used to divert the water from the main stream and control the water level in the moat.

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There is a path which allows you to walk right round the castle, at the front stands a bridge which leads over the moat to the gatehouse. The gatehouse along with the west tower are the only surviving structures which can be seen today. The castle is constructed with distinctive red brickwork with stone detailing.

You can see the decorative detailing on the face of the remaining structures which has been created using darker bricks. There are also gunports which have been placed at very low level which might have suggested that these were more for show than for practical use.  The rectangular gatehouse has four polygonal turrets at each corner which can be clearly seen from the overhead view.

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The drone footage captures the west tower excellently showing the central square plan with two jutting out turrets. The chimneys for the fireplaces can also still be seen. This castle looks like it set out to be lavish and grandiose rather than a structure built with the prime focus of security.

After steady deterioration, works were carried out in 1912 to re-cut the moat as well as repairing the brickwork, tidying up the area and reconstructing a replica of the medieval bridge. It was during this time the foundations of the original manor house were uncovered.

Kirby Muxloe Castle is now managed by English Heritage who has also carried out extensive repair works to much of the brickwork. You can spot these repairs in the drone video as well as the structural wall tie bars in the west tower.

All in all this is a very interesting structure to visit steeped in rich history and given that there is a lovely 17th century farmhouse pub / restaurant situated adjacent from the castle, you can also make your time worth while with a spot of lunch.

 

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