Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester
"Ranulf of Chester" redirects here. For the other Earls of Chester named Ranulf, see Earl of Chester. Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester and 1st Earl of Lincoln, known in some references as the 4th Earl of Chester, was one of the "old school" of Anglo-Norman barons whose loyalty to the Angevin dynasty was consistent but contingent on the receipt of lucrative favours, he was described as "almost the last relic of the great feudal aristocracy of the Conquest". Ranulf, born in 1170, was the eldest son of Hugh de Bertrade de Montfort of Evreux, he was said to have been small in physical stature. He succeeded to the earldom of Chester as a minor and was knighted in 1188 or 1189, which gave him control of his estates in England and Normandy. Although he used, not inconsistently, the style Duke of Brittany, he never had the control of the duchy, is not known to have played an important role there. In 1188 or 1189, he was married to the Duchess Constance of Brittany, the widow of Henry II's son Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany, mother of Arthur of Brittany, with whom King John contested the succession to the crown of England.
Richard Coeur de Lion, John's brother, had no known legitimate issue. The King had named Arthur of Brittany as his adopted heir to the crown of England. Henry wanted her married to a magnate whom he could trust; the marriage gave Ranulf control of the earldom of Richmond, but it wasn't a success, they separated. In 1196, King Richard I of England nominated the nine-year-old Arthur as his heir, summoned him and his mother, Duchess Constance, to Normandy. Constance travelled towards Rouen. On the way she was abducted by her estranged husband. Richard, marched to Brittany at the head of an army, intent on rescuing his nephew. Arthur was secretly taken away by his tutor to the French court to be brought up with Louis, son of the French king Philip II. In 1199, Constance escaped from her husband and their marriage was dissolved on the grounds of desertion. In 1200 Ranulf cemented his power in Normandy by marrying Clemence of Fougères, he had opposed John's attempted coup of 1193–4, retained many contacts with partisans of his former stepson Arthur.
He spent most of 1199–1204 in France and his continued loyalty was bought by John with further patronage. However the King was suspicious of the Earl with some reason. In the winter of 1204–5, suspected of dealings with the rebellious Welsh and of contemplating revolt himself, had extensive estates temporarily confiscated by the king; this episode convinced Ranulph to show loyalty in future. Thereafter he was showered with royal favours. In return he fought John's Welsh wars 1209–12. Loyal to the king in 1215–16, he was one of the few magnates to witness the Magna Carta of 1215, which he would adapt to appease his own barons in the form of the Magna Carta of Chester, he played a leading military role in the civil war by virtue of his extensive estates and numerous castles. Ranulf stood with William Marshal and the Earls of Derby and Warwick with the King, whilst the other nobility of the land stood with the enemy or remained aloof from the conflict. Chester was appointed in 1215 Lord of the County of Lancashire with the power to appoint sheriffs.
He was High Sheriff of Lancashire, High Sheriff of Staffordshire and High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1216. On John's death in 1216, Ranulf's influence increased further. There was an expectation at Gloucester that Ranulf would contend the regency for the young Henry III. Events moved at Gloucester, where William Marshal and the young king were, in Ranulph's absence; the Marshal was put forward and offered the regency by the nobility and clerics gathered at Gloucester before the arrival of Ranulph. There was concern that Ranulph might object to the decision, but when he arrived he stated that he did not want to be regent, so any potential conflict vanished. Before John's death, rebel barons had offered the throne of England to the dauphin. Louis had taken Winchester. De Blondeville put his political weight behind re-issuing the Magna Carta in 1216 and 1217. Ranulph was based in the north midlands and was charged with stopping the northern barons linking up with Louis in the south; the Earl chose to combine personal concerns with those of the country by attacking Saer de Quincy, 1st Earl of Winchester's castle at Mountsorrel in Leicestershire – from which the Earl of Winchester's predecessors had ousted Ranulph's grandfather, Ranulf de Gernon.
Louis was persuaded by the Earl of Winchester to send a relief force to the castle. When they arrived, de Blondeville and the Royalist force were gone. In fact they had headed to Lincoln to deal with a French force besieging the castle there. William Marshal with his main army at Northampton made for the city, at Lincoln a battle was fought between the Royalists headed by William Marshal and de Blondeville and the French forces and their allies; the battle went in favour of the Royalists, they captured forty-six Barons and the Earls of Winchester and Hereford and the Earl of Lincoln created by Louis the French King. Following the battle in recognition of his support Ranulf was created Earl of Lincoln by King Henry III of England on 23 May 1217. In 1218, de Blondevil
Northampton Castle was one of the most famous Norman castles in England. It was built under the stewardship of Simon de Senlis, the first Earl of Northampton, in 1084, it took several years to complete, as there is no mention of it in the Domesday Book, the great survey of England completed in 1086. The castle site was outside the western city gate, defended on three sides by deep trenches. A branch of the River Nene provided a natural barrier on the western side; the castle had a large keep. The gates were surrounded by bulwarks made of earth, used to mount artillery; the castle was "obliterated" by the arrival of a railway branch of what is now the West Coast Main Line in the 19th century, the station of, built on the castle site and the construction of the original Northampton Castle railway station. All that remains of the castle today is the Postern Gate, near Northampton Railway Station. In the reign of Henry II, the castle was in the hands of the Crown. In the civil wars between King John and his barons, the latter used it as a stronghold.
When the King prevailed, the castle was entrusted to Falkes de Breauté, whom the King admired for his courage during the war. In 1164, Thomas Becket was tried at the castle before a great council. Having escaped by dressing as a monk, Becket fled to France. In 1264, in the wars between King Henry III and his nobles, the castle was owned by the confederate barons and governed by Simon de Montfort; when the King defeated the garrison, the castle again reverted to the Crown. It remained so until three years into King Edward III's reign, when Thomas Wake, sheriff of Blisworth, claimed it belonged to the county under his jurisdiction. In 1452, thirty years into King Henry VI's reign, the castle was rented to Robert Caldecote for 20 years, at the annual rate of £5; the rent of the castle included:... all the wifes belonging to the constableship of, the herbage within the walls, in the trenches, as a certain meadow, right of fishing in the river... At the time of the Restoration of the English monarchy, it was in the hands of Sir Arthur Haselrig, who shared it out to several individuals that set up houses on the trenches.
A public chapel, dedicated to St George, was set up within the castle. In 1662, by orders of the King, parts of the castle, as well as the walls and gates of the town, were demolished; until 1675, the remaining parts of the fortress were used as the county jail, the two courts of justice were held here. Until 1879, the castle's foundations could still be traced on the southern and western sides, part of a round bastion on the southern side the prison, was standing; the development of railways in England during the Victorian period by-passed Northampton. The main line from London, now known as the West Coast Main Line passed about five miles south of the town. However, in 1879 a loop line via Northampton was constructed. In that year the castle and its foundations were demolished by the LNWR for the construction of Northampton Castle railway station; the only remains that survived were some earth banks beside St Andrew's Road and the re-positioned postern gate, "a minor archway", embedded into the station wall fronting the main road.
The station was rebuilt in 1963–64 with the suffix "Castle" to its name dropped as it had become the only remaining station in the town. Excavations in 1961 prior to the rebuilding revealed 12th century defences including a ditch 90 feet wide and 30 feet deep and a bank 80 feet wide and 20 feet high. A volunteer group called the Friends of Northampton Castle was established to publicise the castle and provide information about the history of the site and the castle itself. In July 2012, FONC commissioned a 3D reconstruction of the castle, published on YouTube. Expansion of the town and the 2011 launch of a Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone made the need to expand and re-develop and double the size of the railway station with the name restored to "Northampton Castle". Work began in 2013, with completion expected in mid-2014; the opportunity was taken to carry out further, more extensive, excavations in 2012–13 which uncovered various items of Anglo-Saxon origin. Among their number were a brooch, pottery fragments and an ironstone wall.
Northampton Castle is the location of the death of Prince Arthur, the young nephew to King John and claimant to the throne, in Shakespeare's King John, Act IV Scene III, in which he leaps to his death from the castle walls in an escape attempt. The fate of the real-life Prince Arthur remains mysterious, he was last recorded as a sixteen-year-old captive in Rouen Castle in April 1203, whereafter he was rumoured to have been killed on King John's orders. It may be thought more that he died in France rather than England; the Castle of Northampton by Rev. R. M. Serjeantson, 1908 An hour among the echoes of Northampton Castle by Rev. P. M. Eastman, 1879 Historical Memorials of Northampton by Charles Henry Hartshorne, 1883 The Friends of Northampton Castle
White Castle, Monmouthshire
White Castle known as Llantilio Castle, is a ruined castle near the village of Llantilio Crossenny in Monmouthshire, Wales. The fortification was established by the Normans in the wake of the invasion of England in 1066, to protect the route from Wales to Hereford. Commissioned by William fitz Osbern, the Earl of Hereford, it comprised three large earthworks with timber defences. In 1135, a major Welsh revolt took place and in response King Stephen brought together White Castle and its sister fortifications of Grosmont and Skenfrith to form a lordship known as the "Three Castles", which continued to play a role in defending the region from Welsh attack for several centuries. King John gave the castle to a powerful royal official, Hubert de Burgh, in 1201. Over the next few decades, it passed back and forth between several owners, as Hubert, the rival de Braose family, the Crown took control of the property. During this period, White Castle was rebuilt, with stone curtain walls, mural towers and gatehouses, forming what the historian Paul Remfry considers to be "a masterpiece of military engineering".
In 1267 it was granted to Edmund, the Earl of Lancaster, remained in the hands of the earldom, duchy, of Lancaster until 1825. Edward I's conquest of Wales in 1282 removed much of White Castle's military utility, by the 16th century it had fallen into disuse and ruin; the castle was placed into the care of the state in 1922, is now managed by the Cadw Welsh heritage agency. White Castle was built in the wake of the Norman invasion of England in 1066. Shortly after the invasion, the Normans pushed into the Welsh Marches, where William the Conqueror made William fitz Osbern the Earl of Hereford; the Normans used castles extensively to subdue the Welsh, establish new settlements and exert their claims of lordship over the territories. Called Llantilio Castle, White Castle was one of three fortifications built in the Monnow valley around the same time by Earl William himself, to protect the route from Wales to Hereford, overlooked the manor of Llantilio Crossenny and the River Monnow; the first castle on the site was built from earth and timber, with three large earthworks forming an inner and outer ward, a hornwork protecting the main entrance to the south.
A mill was constructed at Great Trerhew to grind corn for the castle garrison. The earldom's landholdings in the region were broken up after William's son, Roger de Breteuil, rebelled against the Crown in 1075. In 1135, a major Welsh revolt took place, in response King Stephen restructured the landholdings along this section of the Marches, bringing White Castle and its sister fortifications of Grosmont and Skenfrith back under the control of the Crown to form a lordship known as the "Three Castles". Conflict with the Welsh continued, following a period of detente under Henry II in the 1160s, the de Mortimer and de Braose Marcher families attacked their Welsh rivals during the 1170s, leading to a Welsh assault on nearby Abergavenny Castle in 1182. In response, the Crown readied the castle to face an attack and, between 1184 and 1186, work costing £128 was carried out by Ralph of Grosmont, a royal official to build a stone curtain wall around the inner ward and to add a small stone keep to the defences.
In 1201, King John gave the Three Castles to Hubert de Burgh. Hubert was a minor landowner who had become John's household chamberlain when he was still a prince, went on to become an powerful royal official once John inherited the throne. At this time, White Castle was a military fortification, holding a garrison and stores of arrows and crossbow bolts, it was exposed to the elements and had, at best, only basic accommodation. Hubert began to upgrade his new castles, starting with Grosmont, but was captured while fighting in France. During Hubert's captivity, King John took back the Three Castles and gave them to William de Braose, a rival of Hubert's. King John subsequently fell out with William and dispossessed him of his lands in 1207, but de Braose's son called William, took the opportunity presented by the First Barons' War to retake the castles. Once released, Hubert regained his grip on power, becoming the royal justiciar and being made the Earl of Kent, before recovering the Three Castles in 1219 during the reign of King Henry III.
Hubert fell from power in 1232 and was stripped of the castles, which were placed under the command of Walerund Teutonicus, a royal servant. Walerund built a new hall and pantry at the castle in 1244. In 1254, White Castle and its sister fortifications were granted to King Henry's eldest son, King, Prince Edward. During the 13th century, the castle was entirely rebuilt, although historians have put forward two possible timelines for when this work was carried out; the conventional historical dating places the construction in the 1250s and 1260s, as a single programme of work consisting in the keep being demolished, a new gatehouse and four mural towers constructed and the outer ward reinforced with a stone wall and gatehouse of its own. Paul Remfry argues that the work occurred somewhat earlier during Hubert's tenure, being carried out in two waves between 1229–1231 and 1234–1239. Around this time the fortification is first described in the records as the "White Castle", due to the white re
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
Edmund Crouchback, 1st Earl of Lancaster, 1st Earl of Leicester, of Grosmont Castle in Monmouthshire, Wales, a member of the House of Plantagenet, was the second surviving son of King Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence. In his childhood he had a claim on the Kingdom of Sicily, he was granted all the lands of Simon de Montfort in 1265, from 1267 he was titled Earl of Leicester. In that year he began to rule Lancashire, but he did not take the title Earl of Lancaster until 1276. Between 1276 and 1284 he governed the counties of Champagne and Brie with his second wife, Blanche of Artois, in the name of her daughter Joan, his nickname, "Crouchback", refers to his participation in the Ninth Crusade. Edmund was born in a son of Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence, he was a younger brother of Edward I, Beatrice, an elder brother of Catherine. He was invested ruler of the Kingdom of Sicily by the Bishop of Bologna in 1255, on behalf of Pope Alexander IV. In return, his father undertook to pay the papacy 135,541 marks and fight a war to dislodge the Hohenstaufen king Manfred.
Henry's barons refused to contribute to what they called the "Sicilian business", Henry was only able to pay 60,000 marks. Steven Runciman says the grant of the kingdom was revoked by Pope Alexander IV on 18 December 1258. However, Edmund soon obtained important possessions and dignities, for soon after the forfeiture of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester on 25 October 1265, Edmund received the Earldom of Leicester and that of Lancaster, he was granted the honour of the lands of Nicolas de Segrave. He acquired the titles and estates of Lord Ferrers, that included the earldom of Derby, the Honour of Hinckley Castle. In 1267, Edmund was granted the lordship of Builth Wells, in opposition to the holder, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. To help him conquer the land, he was granted his elder brother's lordships of the Trilateral of Skenfrith and White Castle, all in Monmouthshire, together with Monmouth. After the civil war in 1267, he was appointed High Sheriff of Lancashire. Henry III created his second son Earl of Leicester in 1267, granting the honour and privileges of that city.
The following year he was made Constable of a royal possession in the king's name. Crouchback by now had a reputation as a ruthless and ferocious warrior, but he was not in England fighting de Montfort. In 1271, Edmund accompanied his elder brother Edward on the Ninth Crusade to Palestine; some historians, including the authors of the Encyclopædia Britannica article on him, state that it was because of this that he received the nickname'Crouchback', indicating that he was entitled to wear a cross stitched into the back of his garments. On his return from the Crusade of 1271–2, he seems to have made Grosmont Castle his favoured home and undertook much rebuilding there, his son Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster was born there in 1281. Edmund remained loyal to his brother, Edward I. Edmund acted as an ambassador abroad, he was sent as Governor of Ponthieu on behalf of his second wife, Blanche of Artois. His duty to the church included the foundation of a Nuns of Clara or Poor Clares nunnery at Minories, St Aldate's.
In 1291, his estate paid for the establishment for the Chapel of Savoy, in memory of his mother, near St Clement Danes. Filial piety was part of the chivalric code of an honourable knight. Edmund was a generous benefactor to the monastery of Grace Dieu in Leicestershire, to the nuns at Tarrant Crawford, he helped establish a major Greyfriars monastery at Preston in the duchy of Lancaster. In 1281, he supervised the construction of Aberystwyth Castle for King Edward I to subjugate the Welsh; the following year Edmund accompanied Roger Mortimer on campaign against Llywelyn and capturing the prince. In 1294 the French king, Philip IV, through trickery, defrauded King Edward out of his lands in Gascony. Edward began to plan an invasion, but ran into difficulties. First, some of the Welsh rebelled against him the Scots rebelled. By the end of 1295, he was ready to take up the conflict with Philip, he wanted to send Edmund to lead a small force ahead of the main army he was gathering, but Edmund fell ill in that autumn and was unwell until Christmas.
Edmund was able to go to Bordeaux for his brother. Amongst the nobles:123 was the Earl of Lincoln and 26 banneret knights. During the siege of Bayonne the English ran out of money, so the army melted into the countryside. Broken-hearted, the warrior-prince Edmund Crouchback died on 5 June, his body was interred on 15 July 1296 at Westminster Abbey, London. Edmund married firstly on 8 April 1269 Aveline de Forz, daughter of William de Forz, 4th Earl of Albemarle and Isabella de Fortibus, Countess of Devon, she died just four years after the marriage, at the age of 15, was buried at Westminster Abbey. The couple had no children, though some sources believe she may have died in childbirth or shortly after a miscarriage, he married secondly on 3 February 1276 Blanche of Artois, in Paris, widow of King Henry I of Navarre, daughter of Robert I of Artois and Matilda of Brabant. With Blanche he had three children: Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster John of Lancaster
Nottinghamshire is a county in the East Midlands region of England, bordering South Yorkshire to the north-west, Lincolnshire to the east, Leicestershire to the south, Derbyshire to the west. The traditional county town is Nottingham, though the county council is based in West Bridgford in the borough of Rushcliffe, at a site facing Nottingham over the River Trent; the districts of Nottinghamshire are Ashfield, Broxtowe, Mansfield and Sherwood, Rushcliffe. The City of Nottingham was administratively part of Nottinghamshire between 1974 and 1988, but is now a unitary authority, remaining part of Nottinghamshire for ceremonial purposes. In 2017, the county was estimated to have a population of 785,800. Over half of the population of the county live in the Greater Nottingham conurbation; the conurbation has a population of about 650,000, though less than half live within the city boundaries. Nottinghamshire lies on the Roman Fosse Way, there are Roman settlements in the county; the county was settled by Angles around the 5th century, became part of the Kingdom, Earldom, of Mercia.
However, there is evidence of Saxon settlement at the Broxtowe Estate, near Nottingham, Tuxford, east of Sherwood Forest. The name first occurs in 1016, but until 1568, the county was administratively united with Derbyshire, under a single Sheriff. In Norman times, the county developed woollen industries. During the industrial revolution, the county held much needed minerals such as coal and iron ore, had constructed some of the first experimental waggonways in the world. In the 18th and 19th centuries, mechanised deeper collieries opened, mining became an important economic sector, though these declined after the 1984–85 miners' strike; until 1610, Nottinghamshire was divided into eight Wapentakes. Sometime between 1610 and 1719, they were reduced to six – Newark, Thurgarton, Rushcliffe and Bingham, some of these names still being used for the modern districts. Oswaldbeck was absorbed in Bassetlaw, of which it forms the North Clay division, Lythe in Thurgarton. Nottinghamshire is famous for its involvement with the legend of Robin Hood.
This is the reason for the numbers of tourists who visit places like Sherwood Forest, City of Nottingham, the surrounding villages in Sherwood Forest. To reinforce the Robin Hood connection, the University of Nottingham in 2010 has begun the Nottingham Caves Survey, with the goal "to increase the tourist potential of these sites"; the project "will use a 3D laser scanner to produce a three dimensional record of more than 450 sandstone caves around Nottingham". Nottinghamshire was mapped first by Christopher Saxton in 1576; the map was the earliest printed map at a sufficiently useful scale to provide basic information on village layout, the existence of landscape features such as roads, tollbars and mills. Nottinghamshire, like Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, sits on extensive coal measures, up to 900 metres thick, occurring in the north of the county. There is an oilfield near Eakring; these are overlaid by sandstones and limestones in the west, clay in the east. The north of the county is part of the Humberhead Levels lacustrine plain.
The centre and south west of the county, around Sherwood Forest, features undulating hills with ancient oak woodland. Principal rivers are the Trent, Idle and Soar; the Trent, fed by the Soar and Idle, composed of many streams from Sherwood Forest, run through wide and flat valleys, merging at Misterton. A point just north of Newtonwood Lane, on the boundary with Derbyshire is the highest point in Nottinghamshire; the lowest is Peat Carr, east of Blaxton, at sea level. Nottinghamshire is sheltered by the Pennines to the west, so receives low rainfall at 641 to 740 millimetres annually; the average temperature of the county is 8.8–10.1 degrees Celsius. The county receives between 1470 hours of sunshine per year. Nottinghamshire contains one green belt area, first drawn up from the 1950s. Encircling the Nottingham conurbation, it stretches for several miles into the surrounding districts, extends into Derbyshire. Nottinghamshire is represented by eleven members of parliament. Kenneth Clarke of Rushcliffe is a former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer and Lord High Chancellor.
Following the 2017 County Council elections, the County Council is controlled by a coalition of Conservatives and Mansfield Independent Forum, having taken control from the Labour administration. The seats held are 31 Conservatives, 23 Labour, 11 Independents, 1 Liberal Democrat. In the previous 2013 election, the County Council was Labour controlled, a gain from the Conservatives. Local government is devolved to seven local district councils. Ashfield, Bassetlaw and Mansfield
Bolsover Castle is located in the small town of Bolsover, situated in the north-east of the English county of Derbyshire. Built in the early 17th century, the present castle lies on the earthworks and ruins of the 12th century medieval castle, with the first structure of the present castle having been built between 1612 and 1617 by Sir Charles Cavendish; the site is now in the care of the English Heritage charity, as both a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The original castle was built by the Peverel family in the 12th century and became Crown property in 1155 when William Peverel the Younger died; the Ferrers family who were Earls of Derby laid claim to the Peveril property. When a group of barons led by King Henry II's sons – Henry the Young King, Geoffrey Duke of Brittany, Prince Richard Richard the Lionheart – revolted against the king's rule, Henry spent £116 on building at the castles of Bolsover and Peveril in Derbyshire; the garrison was increased to a force led by 20 knights and was shared with the castles of Peveril and Nottingham during the revolt.
John ascended the throne in 1199 after his brother Richard's death. William de Ferrers maintained the claim of the Earls of Derby to the Peveril estates, he paid John 2000 marks for the lordship of the Peak, but the Crown retained possession of Bolsover and Peveril Castles. John gave them to Ferrers in 1216 to secure his support in the face of country-wide rebellion. However, the castellan Brian de Lisle refused to hand them over. Although Lisle and Ferrers were both John's supporters, John gave Ferrers permission to use force to take the castles; the situation was still chaotic when Henry III became king after his father's death in 1216. Bolsover fell to Ferrers' forces in 1217 after a siege; the castle was returned to crown control in 1223, at which point £33 was spent on repairing the damage the Earl of Derby had caused when capturing the castle six years earlier. Over the next 20 years, four towers were added, the keep was repaired, various parts of the curtain wall were repaired, a kitchen and barn were built, all at a cost of £181.
From 1290 onward, the castle and its surrounding manor were granted to a series of local farmers. Under their custodianship, the castle fell into a state of disrepair. Bolsover castle was rewarded to George Talbot, the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, by King Edward VI in 1553. Following Talbot’s death in 1590, his second son Gilbert, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury, sold the ruins of Bolsover Castle to his step-brother and brother-in-law Sir Charles Cavendish, who wanted to build a castle on the original site. Working with the famous builder and designer Robert Smythson, the castle was designed for elegant living rather than defence, before their deaths in 1614 and 1617, respectively; the building of the castle was continued by Charles' two sons and John, who were influenced by the Italian-inspired work of London-based architect Inigo Jones. The tower, known today as the'Little Castle', was completed around 1621; the building of Bolsover Castle was interrupted by the Civil War that occurred between 1642 and 1651, during which the castle was taken by the Parliamentarians who slighted it, before it fell into a ruinous state.
William Cavendish added a new hall and staterooms to the Terrace Range and, by the time of his death in 1676, the castle had been restored to good order. The main usage of the building extended over 20 years and it is presumed that the family over stayed at the castle towards the end of that period, it passed through the female line into the Bentinck family, became one of the seats of the Dukes of Portland. After 1883 the castle was uninhabited and given to the nation by the 7th Duke of Portland in 1945; the castle is now in the care of English Heritage. Bolsover Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, a "nationally important" historic building and archaeological site, given protection against unauthorised change, it is a Grade I listed building and recognised as an internationally important structure. In 2017 the site was voted the spookiest site by English Heritage staff. Mysterious footsteps, a boy holding visitors' hands, muffled voices and unexplained lights are among the events reported to have occurred.
The 2008 film Summer was filmed on the castle grounds. Bibliography Bolsover Castle page on English Heritage's official site Gatehouse Gazetteer record for Bolsover Castle, containing a comprehensive bibliography Photographs around the Castle Bolsover Castle on Google Arts & Culture The Elysium Closet on Google Arts & Culture