Castle Chichester, Whitehead

Map Reference: J477921 (3477, 3921)

Externally Castle Chichester is about 8m square and 11m high. It is a small three-storey tower built mainly of basalt boulders with some old brick. The uppers levels may be reached by mural stairways and there is no vault. The entrance, in the south wall, is now blocked. The castle was lit throughout by small loops but most of the worked stone has now been robbed out.

The original purpose for the castle is not clear. Its lack of fireplaces, large windows etc would suggest that it was not designed as a dwelling. However some of the early tower-houses lacked creature comforts. The name cannot be older than 16th century. The original name of Whitehead was Castle Town and it it known that there was a considerable village here with a harbour or quay, which carried on a good trade with Scotland. Castle Chichester may have been built as a watch-tower for the harbour or as a store-house.

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