Middleham Castle: Daunting Fortress, Luxurious Home and One Priceless Jewel!

Middleham Castle sits in the wide-open, rugged and beautiful landscape of North Yorkshire, about 230 miles north of London and 45 miles northwest of York. It was recounted by Tudor antiquary, John Leyland, as ‘a pretty market town, and standith on a rocky hill, on the top whereof is the castle meately welle dyked with … Read more

Rievaulx Abbey & the Brutal Dissolution of the Monasteries

The Ruins of Rievaulx Abbey

This blog is adapted from an ‘on-location’ interview for my podcast, The Tudor History & Travel Show, recorded at Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire. Our guide is Michael Carter, a senior properties curator at English Heritage. He specialises in English Monasticism and the Cistercian order. Read through to the end to find out Michael’s top … Read more

Cawood: A Cardinal’s Lamentable Treason

As the deepening chill of late autumn crept icily across the Yorkshire countryside, a cavalcade of men on horseback, headed by the twenty-eight-year-old, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, swept into the gates of Cawood Castle. Inside, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, one-time chief minister to Henry VIII, was at dinner, entirely unaware of the storm that was … Read more

Bolton Castle and the Vengeful Prisoner of Wensleydale

Bolton Castle

Cover image: Bolton Castle in Wensleydale, by kind permission of Anita Watson. In the last post, we followed in the footsteps of Mary, Queen of Scots, witnessing her daring flight from Borthwick Castle, Scotland, to England in 1567. Today, we time-travel to visit Mary at Bolton Castle, now the captive kinswoman of her ‘cousin’ Elizabeth. … Read more