Castle Field

behind college street

The field behind the interesting houses in College Street was at one time also acquired by the Oxford authorities as it contains part of the old castle moat and the now bare mound on which the castle was thought to have stood. This field is now the property of the Town and is used as a public park.

It is now believed that Castle Field was probably not the site of the Castle, this is now thought to be nearer to the church, and the mound was probably the site of the Castle's rabbit warren. This together with the Dovecote and the fish pond, were ideal sources of fresh food for the inhabitants.

The Castle was granted by Henry III to his son, Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster. When the son of John of Gaunt, Earl of Lancaster, became Henry IV, the castle, manor and town became Crown Property. In 1523 the castle was quarried for stone to rebuild Kimbolton Castle.

The land around Higham Ferrers is still largely part of the Royal Duchy of Lancaster estate, which explains why there has never been an official Manor House or resident Lord of the Manor (although as you will read later, there are two houses in the town that have at some time been called 'Manor House'). Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is thus the Lady of the Manor.

Return from the Castle Field to College Street and walk towards the Market Square.