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27. Kirby Muxloe Castle, Leicestershire

Kirby Muxloe Castle: William Hastings, Edward IV's lord chamberlain began to build this moated castle in 1480. However, his innovative and fashionable new red-brick home was never completed. After the death of King Edward IV, the ambitious Duke of Gloucester, the future King Richard III (1452-1485), had Lord Hastings executed for allegedly conspiring against his plans to gain the throne of England.

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: After crossing the well-filled moat of water, you encounter the entrance to the Gatehouse (built 1480-1493) and hence enter the castle grounds. There are primitive gun ports for small cannons and above them are narrow slits for sighting the cannon and the ports are splayed inside to alter the angle of the firing line (see below).

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle Kirby Muxloe Castle
Kirby Muxloe Castle Kirby Muxloe Castle
Kirby Muxloe Castle Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: From the upper room of the Gatehouse (middle right picture above and views from it), the portcullis and drawbridge would have been operated and the storey above it was probably never completed.

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: Looking back through the gatehouse entrance from the castle grounds. It is a most picturesque ruin and a great place for a picnic!

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: The West Tower (built from 1480-1483) viewed from the upper floor of the Gatehouse.

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: The West Tower was the only part of Kirby Muxloe Castle to be completed. It consists of three storeys connected by a spiral staircase.

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: Each level of the tower was provided with a lavatory which would have discharged into a chamber at the foot of the building! The rooms were intended for household staff or guests.

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: West Tower and the lily coated moat on the left.

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: The West Tower and the Gatehouse. The traces of walls within the grounds are the remains and outline of an earlier manor house built from 1430 onwards and presumably demolished to make way for a future very attractive and outstanding 15th century brickwork and architecture (and the site became a farm at some point).

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: Lord Hastings planned to create a rectangular 'stately home' enclosed by walls, four towers and a moat.

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: Parts of the unfinished castle were occupied by the Hastings family but it seems to have been abandoned in the 16th century.

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: The Kirby Muxloe Castle site was eventually occupied by a farm.

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle is a most attractive and beautiful ruin.

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: There is a most pleasant walk around the moat, which of course takes you on an idyllic external tour of the castle site.

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle: The moat, west tower and gatehouse of Kirby Muxloe Castle.

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

The moat and west tower of Kirby Muxloe Castle

 

Kirby Muxloe Castle

The property of Kirby Muxloe Castle is excellently maintained by English Heritage

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