Castlethorpe’s earthworks are well known, but it’s hard to work out the layout of the castle from the great ditches in the field behind the church.
The high mound of the motte where the keep once stood is obvious enough, but half the castle is hidden beneath the modern village, unless you know where to look and what to look for.
First, what are we looking for? Hanslope Castle, as it was once known, had a nearly circular inner bailey with the motte and the keep inside it. A much bigger outer bailey, nearly rectangular, surrounded it.
The castle covered nearly 20 acres.
It was a wooden castle. The baileys were each surrounded by a ditch, a wooden palisade, and a bank with a wall walk on top. There was a gatehouse in each one.