We all love early castles. Well, we can love those from later ages, but they don’t have quite the same cachet as those wonderful old fortresses that always make us gasp when we see them. But how did they evolve? And why did they become obsolete except as tourist attractions and scenic splendours? This article… Continue reading The history of castles….
A metal detector enthusiast has come up with an impressive find that may be worth a cool £2 million. Tucked away in a hole in a field field near Market Harborough was a tiny figure made of pure gold. This figure is believed to be from the ‘Tudor Crown’ designed by Henry VII for state… Continue reading THE TUDOR CROWN UNEARTHED
In Wakefield Museum there is a rather unusual artefact–a late medieval chamber pot that was discovered in the ruins of Sandal Castle. This would be an unusual find at the best of times, but what makes this porta-potty even more interesting and special is that is is mounted with the large figure of a boar!… Continue reading The Wakefield Medieval Portaloo!
The English Civil War often looked like Round Two of the Wars of the Roses with, geographically, Yorkists morphing into Parliamentarians and Lancastrians becoming Royalists. One parliamentary commander was a Richard Neville and another bore the name of Ralph Assheton, as we shall show, descended from the Vice-Constable of the 1480s: Colonel Assheton, of Middleton,… Continue reading Yet another C17 coincidence
Fifteen miles downstream of Exeter, Powderham Castle faces over the estuary of the River Exe, having originally risen “from the ashes of the Great Plague, but that wouldn’t be its last brush with adversity”. At the beginning it was a true castle, set in 50,000 acres. Alas, after weathering wars, sieges and other troubles, it has… Continue reading A view of Powderham Castle in Devon….
I’m sorry, but even before the above fire in 1831, Nottingham Castle didn’t look anything like a proper castle. Gone are the medieval towers and battlements, and all that’s left is a mansion on a hill. Nothing smacks of the lost age of Plantagenet kings, knights and armour. Great events happened here in earlier centuries,… Continue reading Nottingham’s medieval magic has disappeared from its castle….
Channel Five’s reputation for history programmes has risen greatly over the past few years. At the heart of this, first in a Great Fire of London series with Suzannah Lipscomb and the ubiquitous Dan Jones, has been the “engineering historian” Rob Bell, who has toured bridges, ships, buildings and lost railways in his own amiable,… Continue reading Britain’s Lost Battlefields (with Rob Bell)
Following an unsuccesful Viking raid in 924, the battle of Maldon took place in August 991 and the result was a victory for the Norse invaders. Byrthnoth, the Essex earldorman who led the Saxons that day, was among those killed and Ethelred II instituted payment of the “Danegeld” to pacify the Vikings. This Byrthnoth statue… Continue reading Maldon
During the Wars of the Roses, was there ever a deliberate policy of depopulation? By that, I cannot think of an example. Destruction, yes. Killing off the other side’s armed forces, yes. But the annihilation of towns and villages? Or of castles and strongholds, which were surely regarded as great prizes. So how could there… Continue reading It was Julius Caesar who did it, so why blame the Wars of the Roses….?
Well, the link below is about the 450-acre Duncombe Park estate and house, which has provided the backdrop for the latest film version of The Secret Garden. The interest for Ricardians can be found in the following extract:- “….This impressive medieval fortress was built in stone in the 13th century and has passed through… Continue reading “The Secret Garden” with a connection to Richard III….