Many of us have visited Barnard Castle, one of the prime residences of Richard III when he was Duke of Gloucester, and gazed up at the eroded carving of a boar on the ceiling of the ruinous chamber that has a large window overlooking the river. (Richard clearly liked a scenic view!)

However, there are three more boars in the attractive little town (which bears the same name as the castle.) One in the wall of an old house, one at the church, and one in the Bowes Museum. (The church also has a fragmented carving of St Anthony flanked by two Boars, possibly 14th C. One source says it might have been part of a tombstone, another says it was moved to the church from one of several places in the town. Undoubtedly, given its age, Richard would have been aware of it, no matter where it originally was located. )

The following article explains more about the location of the individual boar carvings, and is also has a welcome, balanced view of the town’s most famous former resident.


Artist’s reconstruction of what the boar carving in the castle may have looked like when new.





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