This interesting name is of early medieval English topographical origin, and is derived from the Anglo-Norman French "castel", castle, fortified building or set of buildings, especially the residence of a feudal lord. The name could also have denoted a servant who lived and worked at such a place. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. The name development since 1154 (see below) includes the following: Henry de Castell (1260, Cambridgeshire), John del Castel (1307, Yorkshire), and William ate Castele (1317, Kent).The modern surname can be found as Castle, Castles, Castell and Castells. One Richard Castle (deceased 1751) was an architect who was born in Germany of German parents and moved to Ireland before 1720, where he designed many buildings in Dublin and in the provinces. He was also known as Cassel or Cassels. A Coat of Arms granted to the Castle family is blue, on a silver bend three black castles, the Crest being a dexter arm couped and embowed fesseways proper, vested red, cuffed gold, holding a silver pennon charged with a black bee volant, with a blue staff. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Castel, which was dated 1148-1154, in the "Records of Bec Abbey", Sussex, during the reign of King Stephen, known as "The Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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