St Ann's Castle
Within walking distance of Cowdray Castle, on St Ann's Hill are the scant remains of another castle.
St Ann's Castle, also known as Midhurst Castle or the De Bohun Castle, can at least to some extent justify the name as it seems possible that a timber and earthwork structure was built here by the Normans soon after the conquest of England in 1066. This was soon abandoned, however.
The site remained empty until around 1159 when the local Lord of the Manor, one Geldwin fitzCana, built a fortified manor house on the site. He occupied it until his death in 1187, when once again the site was abandoned.
It remained so until 1913 when the site was hastily dug over by an unskilled workforce on the instructions of the 1st Viscount Cowdray. The wall lines of the house were discovered, and he decided to have these built these up to above ground level.
What we see today is thus an early twentieth century representation of the plan of a twelfth century house on the site of a temporary post-conquest castle.
When is a castle not a castle?