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CastleUK Blog 2014

Castle UK January Blog Page 2014This is the place where I record and then archive my monthly updates and what's new in our hunt for castles UK.

In January we had a 4 day hunt in North Yorkshire, it's was just before we both retired and we didn't want to go far, don't know why? So it was 2 nights in a rubbish hotel top side of Wetherby and back for 2 nights to the great Bay Horse, Rainton.

We head up the M1 and A1, to visit Harewood Castle, its been many years (it was back in the film camera days and I didn't get a good photo) since we last hunted this castle. Located in the park of Harewood House, there's a public footpath to the west of the consolidated tower house. At the bottom of the steep footpath, we see that a lot of the trees have been cleared and now there's a good information board nearby. It's shows a circular permissive path giving access to the castle, so off we go, it's a big good looking tower but all the openings to the inside are now barred. It's always nice to get an early good looker in the camera and we talk about how the site has changed on the way back. On the opposite side of the River Wharfe, is Rougemont Castle an earth ringwork and manorial site, it's possibly the predecessor to Harewood Castle. We have been here before but again no pictures, parking up we head off on the public footpath, which soon turned into a very wet and muddy field. It's a big site, with good ramparts and ditches and you can work out its defences but on its south side, most of the ringwork has collapsed, no doubt undermined by the river. I walk on the part of the ringwork bank that's left and then after loosing my footing, I have a nice slide on my backside into the ditch, on seeing this the Castle Spotter decides not to follow and heads back the way we came, muddy, I catch up with her at the edge of the wood, it's all good fun. Wetherby is our last stop and we find the site of the castle, there's nothing to see but its got its own blue plaque, so after a bit of Castle Spotter shopping, that's it for the day.
Next we head east to York, leaving Tockwith we see a large obelisk, we stop. Well it's the Civil War battlesite of Marston Moor, we'd wanted to visit it for years but never got round to it and didn't know where it was. Still open moor land, it can't have changed much since the battle of 1644, which is believed to have been the largest battle ever fought on English soil.
The Royalist stronghold of York was under siege by allied Parliamentarian and Scottish forces, Prince Rupert led a relieving force and entered the city on the 1st of July and the Parliamentarian force withdrew and headed towards Tadcaster. The Royalist force decided to march after their opponents and on the 2nd of July, they caught part of the Parliamentarian force by the moor near Long Marston. In the ensuing initial fight, the Royalists came off worse, with Prince Rupert having to marshal his army on the moor itself because Parliament controlled the road. At 7 o'clock in the evening the Parliamentarian army suddenly rushed forward and Oliver Cromwell's cavalry beat both the first line of Royalist cavalry and the reinforcements under Prince Rupert himself. Circling behind the Royalists, Cromwell created chaos and disorder until the King's forces scattered.
Next day we move to Rainton but first I want some better pictures of Kyme and Tadcaster Castles, so we head east to hoover them up. The remains of Kyme Castle are in the grounds Newton Kyme Hall and there is a public footpath around its ha ha to the church and you can see its remaining stone wall from there. We then park up in Tadcaster and have a look round the town, the earthwork castle is by the river, a short walk from the bridge. The motte now looks very sad for its self, with bits of fencing to stop you climbing up it, so I take my pictures and we head to the pub.
Taddy was the home to 2 brewhouses in 1341 and now it's the home to 3 breweries, John Smiths, Samuel Smith and Coors, what a town! Sam Smith's established in 1758 is the oldest brewery in Yorkshire and the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use. We go to the Angel and White Horse a Sam Smith's house, next to the Old Brewery, the Castle Spotter likes their wine and I like the dark mild and the price. Theres always an open fire, 3 in this house and I like the fact that everything thing is made by or for them, plus the price or have I already said about the price? Out the back are the stables with 2 beautiful white shire dray horses at home, they still use them to deliver to the local pubs.
Our last hunt was a walk to Hood Castle an earthwork motte and bailey, it stands on Hood Hill a commanding position on the crest of a very prominent ridge. Looking on the OS map, a road from Kilburn village climbs the escarpment bypassing Sutton Bank, it goes passed the White Horse, the most northerly turf-cut figure in Britain dating from 1857. From this road are two western footpaths, which join together and heads north to another path which hopefully will get us to the top. It's a steep climb and one of the footpaths is halfway up so we take that one, the path is wet and muddy but again our stout boots keep us dry. After 15 minutes the path opens up and we can see the castle above us but then we also see that the footpath we are joining is down in a valley, oh no we have taken the wrong path. We would have to go down, to go up and then down and back up, to get to the car, we turn round it's beer time, Hood Castle will have to wait, next time it's the bottom path.

I've made some changes to the wallpaper you can download, I've added 2 extra sizes, a 1600x900 and a size for Facebook covers, I've also changed the orientation of the 3 last pictures to look better on mobile devices.
I've posted pictures of our 4 day January hunt in North Yorkshire on the CastleUK Facebook page, go take a look it's a good mix of sites.

For more information, click on the pictures or tap the Facebook link

Harewood Castle OS 104/SE 322-456 West Yorkshire England WallpaperHarewood Castle, OS 104/SE 322-456 Yorkshire England.
Is the wallpaper for February, the picture was taken in January 2014 and it's the second of our 2 snow or this time frost pictures, for this wallpaper year. The picture looks south at the castle that since it was built has had little structural alterations and in spite of its ruined condition it is probably the best example in Yorkshire of a 14th century fortified tower house. It's just great that this castle is now freely accessible, good one Harewood House.
King Richard III - Mary, Queen of ScotsFotheringhay Castle, OS 142/TL 062-930 Northamptonshire England.
Is a late 11th century earthwork motte and bailey fortress, founded by Simon de Senlis. His widow, Maud, married King David I and the castle passed down the Scottish royal line, until forfeited to the English Crown in 1294. In 1377 it was granted to Edmund of Langley who largely rebuilt it and later it became a royal palace of the Dukes of York. The castle is the birthplace of King Richard III in 1452 and the place of execution for Mary, Queen of Scots in 1587.
The site is freely accessible in daylight hours, a public footpath passes the castle, from Castle Farm Guest House and we will never tire from visiting this Ricardian castle.
Harewood HouseHarewood Castle, OS 104/SE 322-456 Yorkshire England.
Is a mid 14th century stone rectangular two storey tower house, founded by Sir William de Aldeburgh. Standing on a steep slope overlooking the Wharfe Valley, the area has been occupied since the 12th century. Granted a Royal licence to crenellate the dwelling-place of his manor of Harewode by King Edward III in 1366, the great hall with solar above, is flanked by four storey angle towers.
Standing in the park of Harewood House, a circular permissive path gives access the outside of the tower house in daylight hours and Harewood House run guided tours, April to October.

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