The conservation village of Castle Bytham is pleasantly situated in and around a well-defined valley in the Southwest corner of Lincolnshire close to the border with Rutland. There is an abrupt spur which juts out towards the centre of the village and this is the Castle Hill – now known as Castle Mound. It is thought that the first castle was built by Drogo de Beverer, or Brewere as it is more commonly spelt, having been given the Manor of Bytham around 1071.
In the year 1221 the castle, which was now owned by the rebellious William de Fortibus, was besieged by King Henry III and sometime around 17th February was raised to the ground and the inhabitants arrested. There is still evidence of a Motte and Bailey and a small excavation was permitted in the 20th Century. Sadly however, there is no public access to the historic monument.
The lineation of the moat is clearly visible and the River Glen runs around and below the level of the remains of the moat. Across the road is the village pond with its graceful willow and friendly population of Mallard ducks and Moorhens. The ancient Church of St. James’ sits squarely on the southern hill of the village and in the year 1115 AD an earlier edifice was given by Stephen Earl of Albemarle to a French monastery, thereby dating it no later than Saxon. However, the present church is in the style of late, or transition, Norman prevailing between the years 1145 – 1190 and it is thought that William de Colville commissioned the present church during his family’s occupation of Bytham Castle between the years 1180 and 1185.
There are currently two Public Houses, a Surgery and a Cabinet Maker’s shop in the village and several farms both large and small. As in many villages there are a host of small businesses, and sole traders covering an astonishing array of crafts and trades, many of which can be seen on this website. This is a warm and welcoming community to new residents and visitors alike and well worth a visit. Your visit can begin right now by clicking on the various links shown.
n.b. Extracts of the early history are taken from “A History of the Ancient Castle and its Feudal Lords, the Parish and Church” written by Rev. John Wild B.A. September 1870.
A more comprehensive book for those interested is “The History of Castle Bytham [update 2000]” written by Richard Foers MBE JP