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Sandal Castle, West Yorkshire, England The two armies met and the Battle of Wakefield was fought, with the Duke of York’s forces decimated. The Duke and his son both lost their lives. The castle passed to the Duke of York’s son, later Edward IV, and then on to Richard III who made substantial upgrades to the castle. Unfortunately none of this survives. Due to its resistance in the Civil War, Sandal Castle was condemned by Parliament and was systematically destroyed.
Sandal Castle, West Yorkshire, England Sandal Castle was build by William de Warenne in the early 12th Century. This was a wooden motte and bailey castle. Evidence suggests that the rebuilding of the castle in stone was started at the end of the 12th Century. It was from here that the Duke of York, in 1460, left the safety of the castle with an army of 3,000 men, to engage the opposing forces of Queen Margaret of Anjou, who’s army numbered 8,000. While the logic of that decision has been debated for centuries, he must have had a reason at the time to do so.
Wakefield Bridge and Chapel, West Yorkshire England Its impossible to mention Wakefield Bridge without mentioning the Battle of Wakefield and the death of the Duke of York’s son, Edmund, Earl of Rutland, who was killed on Wakefield Bridge in the aftermath of the battle, either having been taken prisoner or attempting to flee the battle (sources vary), he was only 17 years of age. His head was cut off and displayed on the gates of York.
Wakefield Bridge and Chapel, West Yorkshire England These bridge chapels were originally Chantry Chapels; the name is derived from the priest whose duty it was to chant masses for the souls of the dead. Wakefield’s Chantry chapel is dedicated to St. Mary and is the oldest and most elaborate of the surviving chapels, it dates from the mid-14th Century. The Dissolution of the Colleges and Chantries in the Acts of 1545 and 1547, saw the priests pensioned off leaving the chapels redundant. Most chantry chapels fell into decline and many were lost.
Wakefield Bridge and Chapel, West Yorkshire England In the Middle Ages, chapels were often built on bridges so as to be available for the spiritual needs of travellers. The old London Bridge once had a chapel dedicated to St. Thomas Becket but today there are only six of these chapels still standing in England. The others are at Bradford-on-Avon, St. Ives, Rotherham, Derby and Rochester. Some of the chapels, as at Wakefield, were built as part of the structure of the bridge. In later times this helped to ensure their survival, as to remove it would mean having to rebuild the bridge itself.
Abbotsbury, South West England The Great Barn is 272 feet long by 31 feet wide and it said to be the largest Tithe Barn in England. The building has 23 bays with two projecting entrances. The reason for its size may be directly attributed to the wealth of the Abbey. At the time of the Dissolution, the abbey owned 22 Manors and was one of the richest Abbeys in England.
Abbotsbury, South West England St. Catherine’s Chapel stands on a hill south west of the church of St. Nicholas. It was built as a place of pilgrimage. It is one of only a handful of chapels of this kind, located outside the precincts of the monasteries that built them. The chapel overlooks the sea and this may have helped to ensure its survival, as it was used as beacon or sea-mark. In more recent times, a light was kept burning at the top of the stair turret to help sailors with navigation. The chapel rings which surround it, are lynchets or terraces cut into the landscape for agricultural purposes.
Abbotsbury, South West England In the 12th Century, the monks founded a Swannery here to provide food and create a source of income for the Abbey. This swannery still exists and is the only managed colony of swans in the world. Here you can walk through a colony of swans spread over 25 acres. Since the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the swannery has been under the protection of the Ilchester Estate. The colony has around 600 swans, with over 150 nesting pairs. These birds are free to leave if they choose to but have chosen to remain at the swannery.
Abbotsbury, South West England Abbotsbury is an ancient location. There is evidence of hunter/gathers here from 6,000 BC. In 500 BC an Iron Age fort was built on the ridge above the village. King Canute’s steward, Orc (makes you wonder what this guy looked like), was given land here in 1023. By 1044, Orc had founded a Benedictine Abbey at Abbotsbury. Its buildings which have since disappeared, covered the ground between the church and the tithe barn. The Church of St. Nicholas, St. Catherine’s Chapel and the Tithe Barn which stand today, were all built by the Abbey’s monks in the 14th and 15th Centuries. #medievaltravels #historicalplaces #historicbuildings #historicalbuilding #historicalbuildings #historicalsite #historicarchitecture #historicalmonument #historicplaces #historicsite #Medievale #medievalhistory #middleages #Medievalworld #total_medieval #Medievalarchitecture #Medievalstyle #medievalenthusiasts #travelhistory #travellovers #iloveeurope #oldarchitecture #oldbuildings #placestovisit #gothicarchitecture #beautifularchitecture #travelingthroughtheworld #heritagearchitecture #travelhistory #travelingthroughtheworld
Castle Combe South West England This prosperity however was not to last and the industry of the town diminished in the 16th Century, when the fast flowing river that used to power the mills slowed and cloth manufacturing moved to larger towns. It is this decline in fortunes that left no money for new homes to be built and no people wanting to move to the area. However, what was disastrous to the villagers of the 16th Century, is precisely what has preserved the village for the future.
Castle Combe South West England The town originally gained its wealth through the wool trade. The growth in the English wool and cloth trade and the location of Castle Combe worked perfectly together. The town benefited from large local flocks of sheep, there was a fast flowing river and there were skilled local weavers. The red and white Castle Combe cloth became renowned in the markets of Bristol and Cirencester, as well as London.
Castle Combe South West England This feeling of going back in time does not happen by accident. All of the buildings in Castle Combe are part of a conservation area. This means that some things which people have in modern houses are banned here. Buildings can not have double glazed windows, cables cannot be shown on the exterior of the building, and no satellite dishes are allowed to name a few.
Castle Combe South West England In the 15th Century the village was still expanding and there was new building work to house the growing population. There were restrictions though. An early form of ‘planning permission’ was in place as permission was needed to build any new house. The house was also then inspected by the steward, who was to check that it was well built. Over 50 houses were built in Castle Combe during the 15th Century.
Castle Combe South West England The Parish church of St. Andrew is a grade 1 listed building. The church is mostly of 15th Century construction with part of the chancel dating from the 13th Century. It also contains a working 15th Century faceless clock.
Castle Combe South West England The market cross dates from the 14th Century. It was erected when a license to hold a weekly market was granted by Henry VI in 1440. Next to the cross is one of two old village pumps.
Castle Combe South West England Castle Combe is today lacking its castle; the early 12th century motte and bailey castle is now only earthworks, having been abandoned in the 14th Century in favour of a new Manor house.
Castle Combe South West England In 1086, at the time of the Doomsday book, Castle Combe was already a prosperous estate which comprised of 10 ‘hides’, meaning there was enough land to have 10 plough teams. The owner, Humphrey de L’Isle, retained 4 hides himself, with his 13 serfs operating four plough teams. The other hides were rented to tenants operating six plough teams. There were three mills here and 12 acres of meadow. The population of the whole estate at the end of the 11th Century would have been between 90 and 120 people.
Castle Combe South West England Castle Combe is located in a valley between wooded hills and the River Bybrook. The ancient wooded hill was originally home to the Celts, Britions and Saxons. There were also extensive Roman settlements in the area.