Appeal for witnesses after Romford man dies at Lullingstone Castle

PUBLISHED: 21:14 30 May 2020 | UPDATED: 21:14 30 May 2020

Charlie Hilder, 66, of Romford, died in the grounds of Lullingstone Castle, Eynsford, Kent. Picture: Hilder family

Charlie Hilder, 66, of Romford, died in the grounds of Lullingstone Castle, Eynsford, Kent. Picture: Hilder family


Detectives are appealing for witnesses as they investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a Romford man in the grounds of Lullingstone Castle, Kent on Thursday.

Charlie Hilder, 66, was pronounced dead at the scene after police were called at 5.21pm to reports of a disturbance in the grounds of the castle in Eynsford.

It is reported he may have been involved in an altercation with two boys or teenagers near to a lake.

Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are appealing for witness and would also like to speak to the owner of a drone that was believed to be flying in the area at the time of the incident and may have important video footage.

Senior Investigating Officer, Det Ch Insp Gavin Moss said today, Saturday, May 30: “We continue to appeal for information from anybody who witnessed the incident or saw two young people in the vicinity of the lake between 12pm and 7pm. One of them may have been carrying a fishing rod.

“There were lots of people in the area including cyclists, joggers, dog walkers, anglers and golfers. Some will have taken photographs or videos that may assist us with our enquiries and we are particularly keen to speak to anybody who was near the gatehouse on the estate or in a car park next to the lake.

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“We have also been told a drone was flying at the relevant time and we would like to trace the owner to identify whether it recorded any images.”

The BBC reported suggestions that Mr Hilder had confronted “poachers”.

Detectives are also keen to obtain dashcam footage from any vehicles that travelled along Castle Road or Shoreham Road between noon and 7pm on Thursday.

Lullingstone Castle is a historic manor house well known for its gardens.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation should call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 28-1127.

Anybody with video footage can make a report through the Kent Police section of the Major Incident Public Reporting Site:

You can also contact Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or by completing an online form at

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