Building record 0174600000 - DINTON CASTLE


Sham gothic castle, built as an 'eyecatcher' in 1769 and known as Dinton Castle.

Protected Status/Designation

  • Listed Building (II*) 1118308: DINTON CASTLE


Type and Period (1)

  • FOLLY (Built 1769, 18th Century - 1700 AD to 1799 AD)


Dimensions - Width 6m; Length 10m.
Plan Form - Hexagonal.
Unfinished building of brick faced with stone (B2).
Grade II+. Sham castle or folly, now ruinous, built as eyecatcher from grounds of Dinton Hall, in 1769 for Sir John Vanhattern. Rubblestone with stone string courses, openings mostly cement architraved, except above entrance which has stone dressed window opening. Octagonal plan with circular towers at east and west. 2 storeys, the towers carried up to 3 storeys. Doorway in remains of porch in south face of octagon with depressed 2-centred brick arch. First floor tall ogee headed windows. Strings between storeys and at base of parapet. Parapet now mostly gone. Towers have strings between storeys with blank pointed headed loop windows. Walls have many ammonite fossils from the local limestone beds. Interior brick lined. West tower had fireplaces at each storey and east tower had newel staircase (B7).
In July 1786 Brother Barrett, who lived at the castle, was told he could not continue to hold Baptist meetings at Dinton Castle (B1).
The building housed Sir John Vanhatten's collection of fossils, incorporated in the structure (B8).
Included in English Heritages Building at Risk and Heritage at Risk Register. Classified as priority 6 (A): 'Iimmediate risk of further rapid deterioration or loss of fabric; no solution agreed' (B10-13).
Building recording carried out by Northamtonshire Archaeology between March and October 2009 during and after completion of consolidation work. See report for detail (B14).
Engineers' drawings and photos (B15).
A limestone wall was identified in the trench for a soakaway/drainage field to south of the folly. The wall was set into the top of a small V-shaped ditch on the same alignment. It was unclear from the constraints of the excavated area if it was a foundation cut, replacement of a boundary ditch with a later wall, or a robber cut where the ramainder of the all had been removed. The wall itself was formed from roughly shaped unfinished limestone blocks upto 0.35m long, 0.18m wide and 0.10m high. Only one or two rough courses remained. Some stone retained poorly surviving mortar as a bonding material. On the western side of the folly to post-medieval pits cut through a buried topsoil which overlay a metalled surface, probably the remnant of a trackway 0.65m wide. The metalling was formed of small to medium sized rounded cobbles. Similar areas formed from worn limestone cobbles were identified 25m to the north and west by Hunn. Interpreted as pathways contemporary with the folly (B16).

Sources (16)

  • <2>SBC14127 Bibliographic reference: SHEAHAN P115.
  • <3>SBC15341 Bibliographic reference: VCH BUCKS 2 P271.
  • <4>SBC11696 Bibliographic reference: PEVSNER N 1960 BUCKINGHAMSHIRE P108.
  • <5>SBC10400 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1960. OS 1960 6-INCH MAP. 1:10,560.
  • <6>SBC10633 Bibliographic reference: OS RECORD CARD (ILLUS FILED)..
  • <7>SBC19924 Bibliographic reference: DoE. 1985. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest: Bucks: Aylesbury Vale: Parishes of Ashendon &C. p60.
  • <8>SBC20536 Bibliographic reference: Jeffery W Whitelaw. 1982. Follies. p6 (incl photo).
  • <9>SBC22388 Article in serial: Charles Boot (Bucks Gardens Trust). 2001. 'Dinton Castle', in Newsletter of the Buckinghamshire Gardens Trust, Spring 2001. Issue 11. p10.
  • <10>SBC22671 Bibliographic reference: English Heritage. 2006. English Heritage Register of Buildings at Risk 2006. p52.
  • <11>SBC22953 Bibliographic reference: English Heritage. 2007. English Heritage Register of Buildings at Risk 2007. p50.
  • <12>SBC23138 Bibliographic reference: English Heritage. 2008. Heritage at Risk Register 2008. p211.
  • <13>SBC23453 Bibliographic reference: English Heritage. 2009. Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South East. p27.
  • <14>SBC23612 Unpublished document: Northamptonshire Archaeology. 2010. Archaeological Building Recording of Dinton Castle, Aylesbury.
  • <15>SBC23613 Graphic material: Hockley and Dawson Consulting Engineers. 2008. Plans and elevations showing stabilisation proposals..
  • <16>SBC24921 Unpublished document: MOLA Northampton. 2017. Archaeological observation, investigation and recording at Dinton Castle , Dinton, Buckinghamshire, March - April 2017.


Grid reference SP 76540 11549 (point) (Exact)
Civil Parish DINTON-WITH-FORD AND UPTON, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • Event - Intervention: Watching brief during groundworks for refurbishment at Dinton Castle (EBC17937)
  • Event - Survey: Historic building recording (EBC17282)

Record last edited

Jun 30 2020 10:02AM

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