Herstmonceux Castle and Observatory is a brick-built castle, dating from the 15th century. It is one of the oldest significant brick buildings still standing in England. The castle was renowned for being one of the first buildings to use that material in England. It was built using bricks taken from the local clay, by builders from Flanders. It dates from 1441. Construction of Herstmonceux Castle began under the then-owner, Sir Roger Fiennes and after his death in 1449 by his son, Lord Dacre. (The observatory arrived in the 20th Century).

The parks and gardens are Grade II* listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Other listed structures on the estate include the Grade II listed walled garden to the north of the castle, and the Grade II* listed telescopes and workshops of the Herstmonceux Science Centre.

In 1957 the Castle grounds had become the home of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. It remained so until 1988 when its main function closed because of RGO relocated to Cambridge. Several of the telescopes remain.

Make the most of your visit and enjoy a guided tour of Herstmonceux Castle. Discover the rich and varied history of the area, how the castle came to be and the different occupants over the decades.

To visit Herstmonceux Castle by coach contact Holt Services

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