The Digges Family

In 1616 Chilham Castle was built by Dudley Digges, whose family over the years had close associations with William Shakespeare.  Dudley’s brother Leonard wrote a preface to the First Folio of Shakespeare’s works.  His stepfather was the overseer of Shakespeare’s will.


The hexagonal shape of Chilham Castle was more than likely inspired by Dudley’s father, Thomas Digges, widely regarded as England’s leading mathematician and astronomer of his day.  With the Digges family’s close associations with theatrical designers it’s no surprise that the castle’s shape also reflects the hollow-core polygon of the Cockpit Theatre-in-Court beside Whitehall, the Theatre in Shoreditch and subsequent theatres including The Globe.