"The Chronicles of a Country Parish" - A village appraisal of Sulgrave published in 1995

(Back to Chapter 1 Index)

At this point, the country was invaded by the Normans and after the Conquest, William awarded the land in the area to the family originating from Picquigini in the Somme Valley in France. Ghilo took over the Manor and decided to reinforce the whole site completely. He increased the height of the ringwork and deepened the ditches, surmounting it with a palisade. He re-built the Saxon hall in stone and it is suggested that he also built a stone gate house surounded by a timber first floor. A free standing tower was thought to have been constructed on the site of the present church tower incorporating the original Saxon doorway. Finally in the eleventh century a ditch was excavated around the north side of the church. This ditch until 1924 marked the northern boudnary of the church yard. It was then filled in when Spinners Cottages were built. Park Lane, formerly Dark Lane, followed the line of the old castle moat to the west and south and thus is considerably lower than the open fields on one side and the Castle Bailey, now a public open space, on the other. Brian Davison suggested the Castle was occupied up to about 1125 AD.

Reconstruction by Brian Davison of Ghilo's Castle