Herstmonceux in the Domesday Book

In 1085 King William I commissioned a huge survey of land and landholding which resulted in the iconic Domesday Book. Domesday is the most complete record of pre-industrial society to survive anywhere in the world, making it an exceptional document which offers us a unique window into the Middle Ages. For the majority of places recorded within…

Medieval Migrant Workers and the Building of Herstmonceux Castle

In 1441 Sir Roger Fiennes was granted a licence to ‘enclose, crenellate and furnish with towers and battlements his manor at Hurst Monceux’.[1] Along with wanting to show off his wealth and status, Sir Roger was following the wider consumer movement of investing a higher proportion of his income in his home. This trend was heavily…

The Fiennes Family, the Hundred Years War & Sir Roger’s Rise to Power

On 5th February 1441 King Henry VI granted Sir Roger Fiennes a licence which allowed him to ‘enclose, crenellate and furnish with towers and battlements his manor of Hurst Monceux co. Sussex’.1 Sir Roger was also given permission to ‘enclose 600 acres of his land’ adjoining the manor. This licence led directly to the castle and…