Pontefract Castle is a castle ruin in the town of Pontefract, in West Yorkshire, England. King Richard II is thought to have died there, it was the site of a series of famous sieges during the 17th-century English Civil War. The castle, on a rock to the east of the town above All Saints' Church, was constructed in 1070 by Ilbert de Lacy. on land, granted to him by William the Conqueror as a reward for his support during the Norman Conquest. There is, evidence of earlier occupation of the site; the castle was a wooden structure, replaced with stone over time. The Domesday Survey of 1086 recorded "Ilbert's Castle" which referred to Pontefract Castle. Robert de Lacy failed to support King Henry I during his power struggle with his brother, the King confiscated the castle from the family during the 12th century. Roger de Lacy paid King Richard I 3,000 marks for the Honour of Pontefract, but the King retained possession of the castle, his successor, King John gave Lacy the year he ascended the throne.
Roger was succeeded by his eldest son, John. However, the King took possession of Pontefract Castle; the de Lacys lived in the castle until the early 14th century. It was under the tenure of the de Lacys. In 1311 the castle passed by marriage to the estates of the House of Lancaster. Thomas, Earl of Lancaster was beheaded outside the castle walls six days after his defeat at the Battle of Boroughbridge, a sentence placed on him by King Edward II himself in the great hall; this resulted in the earl becoming a martyr with his tomb at Pontefract Priory becoming a shrine. It next went to Henry, Duke of Lancaster and subsequently to John of Gaunt, third son of King Edward III, he made the castle his personal residence. In the closing years of the 14th century, Richard II had banished John of Gaunt’s son Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford from the country and with the death of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster in 1399, much of Bolingbroke's patrimony was being given away by Richard II to his favourites.
The castle at Pontefract was among such properties under threat which roused Bolingbroke to return to England to claim his rights to the Duchy of Lancaster and the properties of his father. Act 2, scene 1, of Shakespeare's play Richard II relates Bolingbroke’s homecoming in the words of Northumberland in the speech of the eight tall ships:- When he landed at Ravenspur on the Humber he made straight way for his castle at Pontefract; the King, being in Ireland at the time, was in no position to oppose Bolingbroke who deposed Richard and took the crown for himself as Henry IV. Richard II was captured by Henry Bolingbroke's supporters in August 1399 and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Sometime before Christmas that year he was moved to Pontefract Castle where he remained under guard until his death on 14 February 1400. William Shakespeare's play Richard III mentions this incident: Various chroniclers suggest that Richard was starved to death by his captors, others suggest he starved himself.
A contemporary French chronicler suggested that Richard II had been hacked to death, but this is, according to the ODNB, "almost fictitious". In 1536, the castle's guardian, Thomas Darcy, 1st Baron Darcy de Darcy handed over the castle to the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace, a Catholic rebellion from northern England against the rule of King Henry VIII. Lord Darcy was executed for this alleged "surrender,". In 1541, during a royal tour of the provinces, it was alleged that King Henry's fifth wife, Queen Catherine Howard, committed her first act of adultery with Sir Thomas Culpeper at Pontefract Castle, a crime for which she was apprehended and executed without trial. Mary, Queen of Scots was lodged at the castle on 28 January 1569, travelling between Wetherby and Rotherham. Royalists controlled Pontefract Castle at the start of the English Civil War; the first of three sieges began in December 1644 and continued until the following March when Marmaduke Langdale, 1st Baron Langdale of Holme arrived with Royalist reinforcements and the Parliamentarian army retreated.
During the siege and artillery caused damage and the Piper Tower collapsed as a result. The second siege began on 21 March 1645, shortly after the end of the first siege, the garrison surrendered in July after hearing the news of Charles I's defeat at the Battle of Naseby. Parliament garrisoned the castle until June 1648 when Royalists sneaked into the castle and took control. Pontefract Castle was an important base for the Royalists, raiding parties harried Parliamentarians in the area. Oliver Cromwell led the final siege of Pontefract Castle in November 1648. Charles I was executed in January, Pontefract's garrison came to an agreement and Colonel Morrice handed over the castle to Major General John Lambert on 24 March 1649. Following requests from the townspeople, the grand jury at York, Major General Lambert, on 27 March Parliament gave orders that Pontefract Castle should be "totally demolished & levelled to the ground" and materials from the castle would be sold off. Piecemeal dismantling after the main organised activity of slighting may have further contributed to the castle's ruined state.
It is still possible to visit the castle's 11th-century cellars, which were used to store military equipment during the civil war. Little survives of what "must have been one of the most impressive castles in Yorkshire" other than parts of the curtain wall and excavated and tidied inner walls, it had outer baileys. Parts of a 12th-century wall and the Piper Tower's postern gate and
A motte-and-bailey castle is a fortification with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised earthwork called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade. Easy to build with unskilled forced, but still militarily formidable, these castles were built across northern Europe from the 10th century onwards, spreading from Normandy and Anjou in France, into the Holy Roman Empire in the 11th century; the Normans introduced the design into England and Wales following their invasion in 1066. Motte-and-bailey castles were adopted in Scotland, the Low Countries and Denmark in the 12th and 13th centuries. By the end of the 13th century, the design was superseded by alternative forms of fortification, but the earthworks remain a prominent feature in many countries. A motte-and-bailey castle was made up of two structures, a motte, a type of mound – artificial – topped with a wooden or stone structure known as a keep; the term "motte and bailey" is a modern one, is not medieval in origin.
The word "motte" is the French version of the Latin mota, in France the word motte was an early word for a turf. The word "bailey" comes from basse-cour, referring to a low yard. In medieval sources, the Latin term castellum was used to describe the bailey complex within these castles. One contemporary account of these structures comes from Jean de Colmieu around 1130, describing the Calais region in northern France. De Colmieu described how the nobles would build "a mound of earth as high as they can and dig a ditch about it as wide and deep as possible; the space on top of the mound is enclosed by a palisade of strong hewn logs, strengthened at intervals by as many towers as their means can provide. Inside the enclosure is a citadel, or keep, which commands the whole circuit of the defences; the entrance to the fortress is by means of a bridge, rising from the outer side of the moat and supported on posts as it ascends, reaches to the top of the mound." At Durham Castle, contemporaries described how the motte-and-bailey superstructure arose from the "tumulus of rising earth" with a keep rising "into thin air, strong within and without" with a "stalwart house...glittering with beauty in every part".
Mottes were made out of earth and flattened on top, it can be hard to determine whether a mound is artificial or natural without excavation. Some were built over older artificial structures, such as Bronze Age barrows; the size of mottes varied with these mounds being 3 metres to 30 metres in height, from 30 to 90 metres in diameter. This minimum height of 3 metres for mottes is intended to exclude smaller mounds which had non-military purposes. In England and Wales, only 7% of mottes were taller than 10 metres high. A motte was protected by a ditch around it, which would have been a source of the earth and soil for constructing the mound itself. A keep and a protective wall would be built on top of the motte; some walls would be large enough to have a wall-walk around them, the outer walls of the motte and the wall-walk could be strengthened by filling in the gap between the wooden walls with earth and stones, allowing it to carry more weight. Smaller mottes could only support simple towers with room for a few soldiers, whilst larger mottes could be equipped with a much grander building.
Many wooden keeps were designed with bretèches, or brattices, small balconies that projected from the upper floors of the building, allowing defenders to cover the base of the fortification wall. The early 12th-century chronicler Lambert of Ardres described the wooden keep on top of the motte at the castle of Ardres, where the "first storey was on the surface of the ground, where were cellars and granaries, great boxes, tuns and other domestic utensils. In the storey above were the dwelling and common living-rooms of the residents in which were the larders, the rooms of the bakers and butlers, the great chamber in which the lord and his wife slept... In the upper storey of the house were garret rooms... In this storey the watchmen and the servants appointed to keep the house took their sleep". Wooden structures on mottes could be protected by skins and hides to prevent them being set alight during a siege; the bailey was an enclosed courtyard overlooked by the motte and surrounded by a wooden fence called a palisade and another ditch.
The bailey was kidney-shaped to fit against a circular motte, but could be made in other shapes according to the terrain. The bailey would contain a wide number of buildings, including a hall, kitchens, a chapel, stores, forges or workshops, was the centre of the castle's economic activity; the bailey was linked to the motte either by a flying bridge stretching between the two, or, more popularly in England, by steps cut into the motte. The ditch of the motte and the bailey joined, forming a figure of eight around the castle. Wherever possible, nearby streams and rivers would be dammed or diverted, creating water-filled moats, artificial lakes and other forms of water defences. In practice, there was a wide number of variations to this common design. A castle could have more than one bailey: at Warkworth Castle an inner and an outer bailey was constructed, or alternatively, several baileys could flank the motte, as at Windsor Castle
House of Tudor
The House of Tudor was an English royal house of Welsh origin, descended in the male line from the Tudors of Penmynydd. Tudor monarchs ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including their ancestral Wales and the Lordship of Ireland from 1485 until 1603, with five monarchs in that period; the Tudors succeeded the House of Plantagenet as rulers of the Kingdom of England, were succeeded by the House of Stuart. The first Tudor monarch, Henry VII of England, descended through his mother from a legitimised branch of the English royal House of Lancaster; the Tudor family rose to power in the wake of the Wars of the Roses, which left the House of Lancaster, to which the Tudors were aligned, extinct. Henry Tudor was able to establish himself as a candidate not only for traditional Lancastrian supporters, but for the discontented supporters of their rival House of York, he rose to the throne by the right of conquest, his victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field was reinforced by his marriage to the English princess Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, symbolically uniting the former warring factions under a new dynasty.
The Tudors extended their power beyond modern England, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542, asserting English authority over the Kingdom of Ireland. They maintained the nominal English claim to the Kingdom of France. After him, his daughter Mary I lost control of all territory in France permanently with the fall of Calais in 1558. In total, five Tudor monarchs ruled their domains for just over a century. Henry VIII was the only son of Henry VII to live to the age of maturity. Issues around the royal succession became major political themes during the Tudor era. In 1603 when Elizabeth I died without heir, the Scottish House of Stuart supplanted the Tudors as England's royal family through the Union of the Crowns; the first Stuart to be King of England, James VI and I, descended from Henry VII's daughter Margaret Tudor, who in 1503 married James IV as part of the Treaty of Perpetual Peace. For analysis of politics and social history, see Tudor period; the Tudors descended on Henry VII's mother's side from John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset, one of the illegitimate children of the 14th century English prince John of Gaunt by Gaunt's long-term mistress Katherine Swynford.
The descendants of an illegitimate child of English royalty would have no claim on the throne, but the situation became complicated when Gaunt and Swynford married in 1396, when John Beaufort was 25. The church retroactively declared the Beauforts legitimate by way of a papal bull the same year, confirmed by an Act of Parliament in 1397. A subsequent proclamation by John of Gaunt's legitimate son, Henry IV recognised the Beauforts' legitimacy but declared them ineligible to inherit the throne; the Beauforts remained allied with Gaunt's legitimate descendants from his first marriage, the House of Lancaster. However the descent from the Beauforts, despite the above, did not render Henry of Richmond a legitimate heir to the throne nor did the fact that his father's mother had been a Queen of England make him an heir; the legitimate heir, or, in this case, was the Countess of Salisbury, descended from the second son of Edward III, Duke of Clarence and his fourth son, the Duke of York. This is verified by the Tudor family tree which appears in this article.
Henry Tudor had, one thing that the others did not. He had an army which had defeated and killed the last Yorkist King, Richard III and therefore the support of powerful nobles, his son Henry VIII made sure there were no other claimants to the Throne when he wiped out all the remaining Plantagenet heirs including the Countess of Salisbury and her family the Poles. One Pole alone survived, he became Archbishop of Canterbury under the Catholic Mary I. On 1 November 1455, John Beaufort's granddaughter, Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, married Henry VI's maternal half-brother Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, it was his father, Owen Tudor, who abandoned the Welsh patronymic naming practice and adopted a fixed surname. When he did, he did not choose, as was the custom, his father's name, but chose that of his grandfather, Tudur ap Goronwy, instead; this name is sometimes given as Tewdwr, the Welsh form of Theodore, but Modern Welsh Tudur, Old Welsh Tutir is not a variant but a different and unrelated name, etymologically identical with Gaulish Toutorix, from Proto-Celtic *toutā "people, tribe" and *rīxs "king", corresponding to Germanic Theodoric.
Owen Tudor was one of the bodyguards for the queen dowager Catherine of Valois, whose husband, Henry V, had died in 1422. Evidence suggests that the two were secretly married in 1429; the two sons born of the marriage and Jasper, were among the most loyal supporters of the House of Lancaster in its struggle against the House of York. Henry VI ennobled his half-brothers: Edmund became Earl of Richmond on 15 December 1449 and was married to Lady Margaret Beaufort, the great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, the progenitor of the house of Lancaster. Edmund died on 3 November 1456. On 28 January 1457, his widow Margaret, who had just attained her fourte
Tower of London
The Tower of London Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill, it was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite; the castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, although, not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence; as a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion under Kings Richard I, Henry III, Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries; the general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite activity on the site.
The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times, controlling it has been important to controlling the country; the Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, the home of the Crown Jewels of England. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch. In the absence of the monarch, the Constable of the Tower is in charge of the castle; this was a trusted position in the medieval period. In the late 15th century, the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence, despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle, its defences lagged behind developments to deal with artillery; the peak period of the castle's use as a prison was the 16th and 17th centuries, when many figures who had fallen into disgrace, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, Sir Walter Raleigh, Elizabeth Throckmorton, were held within its walls.
This use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower". Despite its enduring reputation as a place of torture and death, popularised by 16th-century religious propagandists and 19th-century writers, only seven people were executed within the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century. Executions were more held on the notorious Tower Hill to the north of the castle, with 112 occurring there over a 400-year period. In the latter half of the 19th century, institutions such as the Royal Mint moved out of the castle to other locations, leaving many buildings empty. Anthony Salvin and John Taylor took the opportunity to restore the Tower to what was felt to be its medieval appearance, clearing out many of the vacant post-medieval structures. In the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage. After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired, the castle reopened to the public. Today, the Tower of London is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions.
Under the ceremonial charge of the Constable of the Tower, operated by the Resident Governor of the Tower of London and Keeper of the Jewel House, the property is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site. The Tower was orientated with its strongest and most impressive defences overlooking Saxon London, which archaeologist Alan Vince suggests was deliberate, it stood out to traffic on the River Thames. The castle enclosures; the innermost ward is the earliest phase of the castle. Encircling it to the north and west is the inner ward, built during the reign of Richard I. There is the outer ward which encompasses the castle and was built under Edward I. Although there were several phases of expansion after William the Conqueror founded the Tower of London, the general layout has remained the same since Edward I completed his rebuild in 1285; the castle encloses an area of 12 acres with a further 6 acres around the Tower of London constituting the Tower Liberties – land under the direct influence of the castle and cleared for military reasons.
The precursor of the Liberties was laid out in the 13th century when Henry III ordered that a strip of land adjacent to the castle be kept clear. Despite popular fiction, the Tower of London never had a permanent torture chamber, although the basement of the White Tower housed a rack in periods. Tower Wharf was built on the bank of the Thames under Edward I and was expanded to its current size during the reign of Richard II; the White Tower is a keep, the strongest structure in a medieval castle, contained lodgings suitable for the lord – in this case, the king or his representative. According to military historian Allen Brown, "The great tower was by virtue of its strength and lordly accommodation, the donjon par excellence"; as one of the largest keeps in the Christian world, the White Tower has been described as "the most complete eleventh-century palace in Europe". The White Tower, not including its projecting corner towers, measures 36 by 32 metres at the base, is 27 m high at the southern battlements.
The structure was three storeys high, comprising a basement floor, an entrance level, an upper floor. The entrance, as is usual in Norman keeps, was above ground
A keep is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars have debated the scope of the word keep, but consider it to refer to large towers in castles that were fortified residences, used as a refuge of last resort should the rest of the castle fall to an adversary; the first keeps were made of timber and formed a key part of the Motte-and-Bailey castles that emerged in Normandy and Anjou during the 10th century. The Anglo-Normans and French rulers began to build stone keeps during the 11th centuries. Stone keeps carried considerable political as well as military importance and could take up to a decade or more to build. During the 12th century, new designs began to be introduced – in France, quatrefoil-shaped keeps were introduced, while in England polygonal towers were built. By the end of the century and English keep designs began to diverge: Philip II of France built a sequence of circular keeps as part of his bid to stamp his royal authority on his new territories, while in England castles were built without keeps.
In Spain, keeps were incorporated into both Christian and Islamic castles, although in Germany tall fighting towers called bergfriede were preferred to keeps in the western fashion. In the second half of the 14th century, there was a resurgence in the building of keeps. In France, the keep at Vincennes began a fashion for tall machicolated designs, a trend adopted in Spain most prominently through the Valladolid school of Spanish castle design. Meanwhile, tower keeps in England became popular amongst the most wealthy nobles: these large keeps, each uniquely designed, formed part of the grandest castles built during the period. In the 15th century, the protective function of keeps was compromised by improved artillery. For example, in 1464 during the Wars of the Roses, the keep in the Bamburgh Castle considered to be impregnable, was defeated with bombards. By the 16th century, keeps were falling out of fashion as fortifications and residences. Many were destroyed in civil wars between the 17th and 18th centuries, or incorporated into gardens as an alternative to follies.
During the 19th century, keeps became fashionable once again and in England and France a number were restored or redesigned by Gothic architects. Despite further damage to many French and Spanish keeps during the wars of the 20th century, keeps now form an important part of the tourist and heritage industry in Europe. Since the 16th century, the English word keep has referred to large towers in castles; the word originates from around 1375 to 1376, coming from the Middle English term kype, meaning basket or cask, was a term applied to the shell keep at Guînes, said to resemble a barrel. The term came to be used. By the 17th century, the word keep lost its original reference to baskets or casks, was popularly assumed to have come from the Middle English word keep, meaning to hold or to protect. Early on, the use of the word keep became associated with the idea of a tower in a castle that would serve both as a fortified, high-status private residence and a refuge of last resort; the issue was complicated by the building of fortified Renaissance towers in Italy called tenazza that were used as defences of last resort and were named after the Italian for to hold or to keep.
By the 19th century, Victorian historians incorrectly concluded that the etymology of the words "keep" and tenazza were linked, that all keeps had fulfilled this military function. As a result of this evolution in meaning, the use of the term keep in historical analysis today can be problematic. Contemporary medieval writers used. In Latin, they are variously described as turris, turris castri or magna turris – a tower, a castle tower, or a great tower; the 12th-century French came to term them a donjon, from the Latin dominarium "lordship", linking the keep and feudal authority. Medieval Spanish writers called the buildings torre del homenaje, or "tower of homage." In England, donjon turned into dungeon, which referred to a keep, rather than to a place of imprisonment. This ambiguity over terminology has made historical analysis of the use of "keeps" problematic. While the term remains in common academic use, some academics prefer to use the term donjon, most modern historians warn against using the term "keep" simplistically.
The fortifications that we would today call keeps did not form part of a unified medieval style, nor were they all used in a similar fashion during the period. The earliest keeps were built as part of motte-and-bailey castles from the 10th century onwards – a combination of documentary and archaeological evidence places the first such castle, built at Vincy, in 979; these castles were built by the more powerful lords of Anjou in the late 10th and 11th centuries, in particular Fulk III and his son, Geoffrey II, who built a great number of them between 987 and 1060. William the Conqueror introduced this form of castle into England when he invaded in 1066, the design spread through south Wales as the Normans expanded up the valleys during the subsequent decades. In a motte-and-bailey design, a castle would include a mound called a motte artificially constructed by piling up turf and soil, a bailey, a lower walled enclosure. A keep and a protective wall would be built on top of the motte; some protectiv
Borough of Harrogate
The Borough of Harrogate is a local government district and borough of North Yorkshire, England. Its population at the census of 2011 was 157,869, its council is based in the town of Harrogate, but it includes surrounding towns and villages and all of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is the most populous district of North Yorkshire; the district is part of the Leeds City Region. It borders the City of Leeds, the City of Bradford, districts of West Yorkshire; the district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of the Masham and Wath rural districts, part of Thirsk Rural District, from the North Riding of Yorkshire, along with the boroughs of Harrogate and the city of Ripon, the Knaresborough urban district, Nidderdale Rural District and Pateley Bridge Rural District, part of Wetherby Rural District and part of Wharfedale Rural District, all in the West Riding of Yorkshire. On 1 April 1996 the parishes of Nether Poppleton, Upper Poppleton and Rufforth were transferred from the district to become part of the new York unitary authority.
According to the 2001 census these parishes had a population of 5,169. Elections to the borough council are held in three out of every four years, with one third of the 54 seats on the council being elected at each election. After being under no overall control from the 2006 election, the Conservative party gained a majority at the 2010 election. Following the United Kingdom local elections, 2016 and subsequent by-elections, the political composition of Harrogate is as follows: The last composition of the former 54 seat council. Before boundary change came in; the current composition of the new 40 seat council from the boundary change is as follows Local Election 2018. The district is divided between three parliamentary constituencies: the whole of Harrogate and Knaresborough, the eastern part of Skipton and Ripon and the north western part of Selby and Ainsty By population: 1. Harrogate 2. Ripon 3. Knaresborough 4. Boroughbridge 5. Pateley Bridge 6. Masham Aldborough Roman Museum Fountains Abbey Ripon Cathedral Knaresborough Castle Ripley Castle Spofforth Castle Marston Moor Devil's Arrows Harrowgate, Philadelphia