Cubic Volume of Castle Keeps


These are rough figures estimating the cubic volume of rectangular castle keeps to give an indication of the size and therefore the relative cost of building such structures.  This table should be compared with the costs incurred with building and repairing these keeps as noted in the various tables for the works of Henry II (1154-89), Richard I (1189-99) and King John (1199-1216).

Where the keeps have been damaged or destroyed rough estimates have been made for their original height and 2 figures included which probably mark the highest and lowest the keep might have stood.  Their actual height is probably roughly in the middle of the 2 figures.  Where keeps have been later significantly heightened the figure in brackets refers to the later keep size.

Logically larger keeps would have cost more to build than smaller ones, although we have little idea of the level of decoration or furnishings put into these keeps which may have been included in the pipe rolls figures of expenditure.

Castles in Present Day England

* means keep standing on a motte, ie a mound on which the keep takes up most of the motte top.
Castle Length Breadth Height Cubic Feet Volume
Alberbury 56' 35' 30' 59,000
Appleby 45' 45' 80' 162,000
Bamburgh 65' 60' 75' 292,500
Benington 45' 41' ?50'-80' 92,000-147,500
Berkhamsted (bailey) 40' 23' ?30'-80' 27,500-73,500
Bowes 80' 60' 50' 240,000
Brandon 52' 40' ?50'-80' 104,000-166,500
Bredwardine 78' 45' ?50'-80' 175,500-280,000
Bridgnorth 38½' 35' 70' 94,500
Brough* 60' 40' 70' 168,000
Brougham 50' 45' 55' (70') 124,000 (157,500)
Bungay 54' 54' ?50'-100' 146,000-292,000
Canterbury 87' 75' ?40'-100' 261,000-652,500
Carlisle 65' 60' 70' 273,000
Castle Acre I 80' 75' ?30' 180,000
Castle Acre II 40' 40' ?60'-90' 96,000-144,000
Castle Cary 80' 75' ?50'-100' 300,000-600,000
Castle Rising 80' 65' 50' 260,000
Christchurch* 50' 45' ?50'-70' 112,500-157,500
Clithero 35' 35' 60' 73,500
Clun 30' 30' ?40'-60'? 36,000-54,000
Colchester 150' 110' ?50'-70' 825,000-1,155,000
Corfe 58' 55' 75' 240,000
Dover 98' 95' 75' 700,000
Duffield 99' 93' ?60 552,500
Elmley 80' 65' ?50'-70' 260,000-364,000
Farnham 50' 50' ?50'-70' 125,000-175,000
Gidleigh 35' 26' 30 27,500
Goodrich 29' 29' 55' 46,500
Guildford 52' 46' 75' 183,500
Hedingham 58' 53' 90' 277,000
Hopton 45' 40' 55' 99,000
Kenilworth 85' 65' 85' 470,000
Knaresborough 65' 52' ?80' 270,500
Knepp 50' 50' 50'+ 125,000+
Lancaster 80' 80' 60' (70') 384,000 (448,000)
Lincoln (Observatory Tower)* 45' 45' ?30'-80' 60,500-162,000
Ludlow (gatehouse) 55' 45' 80' 198,000
Lydford 50' 50' ?50'-80' 125,000-200,000
Lydney 55' 45' ?50'-80' 124,000, 198,000
Middleham 105' 80' 50' 420,000
Mileham* 50' 50' ?40'-80' 100,000-200,000
Moreton Corbet 38' 33' 45' 56,500
Nether Stowey 60' 50' ?50'-80' 150,000-240,000
Newcastle on Tyne 62' 55' 80' 273,000
Norham 86' 65' 90' 503,000
Norwich 95' 90' 70' 598,500
Okehampton I* 42' 38' 45' 72,000
Okehampton II* 48' 35' 45' 76,000
Old Sarum 65' 60' ?60-100' 234,000-390,000
Oswestry* 45' 42' ?40'-80' 75,500-151,000
Oxford (St George) 37' 35' 80' 104,000
Peak 40' 40' 60' 96,000
Pevensey 90' 65' ?50'-100' 292,500-585,000
Pontesbury 60' 60' ?40'-90' 144,000-324,000
Portchester 65' 52' 60' (100') 203,000 (338,000)
Prudhoe 45' 42' 55' (70') 104,000 (132,000)
Richards Castle (bailey) 45' 33' ?30'-70' 44,500-104,000
Richmond (gatehouse) 52' 45' 100' 234,000
Rochester 70' 70' 110' 539,000
Rushen (without side towers) 60' 60' 70' 252,000
Ruyton IX Towns 48' 30' ?30'-70' 43,000-100,000
St Briavels 45' 45' 50'-100' 101,000-202,500
Saffron Walden 55' 55' ?40'-100' 121,000-302,500
Scarborough 56' 56' 90' 282,000
Sherborne 65' 60' ?60'-100' 234,000-390,000
Sutton Valance* 40' 37' ?60'-100' 89,000-148,000
Taunton 80' 63' ?60'-100' 303,000-504,000
Tower of London 120' 105' 90' 1,134,000
Wattlesborough 30' 30' 55' 49,500
Waytemore 38' 38' ?30-80' 43,000-116,000
West Malling 32' 32' 70 72,000
Whittington 52' 38' ?60'-100' 119,000-198,000
Winchester (destroyed) 55' 55' ?60'-100' 181,500-302,500
Wolvesey 55' 50' 70' 192,500


Castles in Present Day Wales

Those castles in italic are probably Welsh built.
Castle Length Breadth Height Cubic Feet Volume
Aberedw I* 30' 30' ?40'-60' 36,000-54,000
Blaenllyfni 55' 25' ?60'-100' 82,500-137,500
Bwlch y Dinas 60' 40' ?40'-70' 96,000-168,000
Carndochan 35' 35' ?40'-80' 49,000-98,000
Carreg Cennen 30' 30' ?50'-80' 45,000-72,000
Coity 40' 35' ?50'-80' 70,000-112,000
Criccieth 43' 32' ?40'-70' 55,000-96,000
Dinas Bran 60' 50' ?40-60' 120,000-180,000
Dinas Emrys 36' 27' ?40-70' 39,000-68,000
Dolforwyn 55' 40' ?40-70' 88,000-154,000
Dolwyddelan I* 25' 25' ?30-60' 19,000-37,500
Dolwyddelan II 44' 31' 40' 55,000
Fonmon 45' 25' 45' 51,000
Glan Edw* 54' 36' ?40'-60' 78,000-117,000
Grosmont (hall) 95' 42' 40' 160,000
Hay on Wye (gatehouse) 32' 28' 60' 54,000
Hyssington* 27' 27' ?30'-60' 22,000-44,000
Kenfig 45' 45' ?40'-70' 81,000-142,000
Loughor 28' 24' 40' 27,000
Machen* 45' 30' ?30'-60' 40,500-81,000
Manorbier 25' 20' 55' 27,500
Monmouth (hall) 70' 48' ?40-60' 135,000-200,000
Ogmore 46' 22' 40' (60') 40,000 (61,000)
Oystermouth 60' 40' 35' (55') 84,000 (132,000)
Pencelli 50' 50' ?40-100' 100,000-250,000
Talgarth 28' 28' 40' 31,000
Usk 35' 35' 65' 80,000
White Castle 35' 35' ?40'-80' 49,000-98,000
Y Bere 50' 35' ?40'-80' 70,000-140,000


Castles in Present Day Scotland

Castle Length Breadth Height Cubic Feet Volume
Cubbie Roos 26' 26' 30'-60' 20,000-40,000
Dalhousie South Block 62' 38' 50' 118,000
Dalhousie North Block 29' 20' 50' 29,000
Dalhouse total L shaped keep 147,000
Drum 50' 50' 70' 175,000
Duffus 60' 50' 40' 120,000
Dumbarton 40' 25' 70-100' 70,000-100,000
Edinburgh East Block 51' 38' 60' 116,000
Edinburgh West Block 21' 18' 60' 23,000
Edinburgh total L shaped keep 139,000
Eilean Donan 54' 41' 60' 133,000
Loch Leven 37' 32' 55' (65') 65,000 (77,000)
Wick 33' 23' 40'-60' 30,000-46,000


Castles in Ireland

Castle Length Breadth Height Cubic Feet Volume
Adare 43' 35' 60' 90,000
Askeaton 38' 28' 90' 96,000
Athenry 54' 35' 40' (55') 76,000 (104,000)
Cahir (gatehouse) 85' 65' 60' 332,000
Carrickfergus 55' 55' 90' 272,000
Castleroche 40' 36' ?20'-70' 29,000-100,000
Clonmacnoise 62' 38' ?40'-80' 94,000-189,000
Dunamase 115' 66' 35' 266,000
Glanworth 42' 36' 30' 45,000
Greencastle 70' 40' 55' 154,000
Maynooth 70' 60' 60' (70') 252,000 (294,000)
Trim (without side towers) 65' 60' 55' (75') 214,500 (292,500)


 

Copyright©2021 Paul Martin Remfry


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