Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Tutbury Castle

Tutbury Castle is a largely ruinous medieval castle at Tutbury, Staffordshire in the ownership of the Duchy of Lancaster. It is a Grade I listed building.

Tutbury Castle became the headquarters of Henry de Ferrers and was the centre of the wapentake of Appletree, which included Duffield Frith. With his wife Bertha, he endowed Tutbury Priory with two manors in about 1080. It would seem that Tutbury at that time was a dependency of the Norman abbey of St Pierre sur Dives.

The castle was destroyed by Prince Edward in 1264 after the rebellion of Robert de Ferrers. Since 1269, after another rebellion in 1269 the lands were given to Edmund Crouchback and have remained part of the Duchy of Lancaster ever since. The Queen holds the current title of Duke of Lancaster (Queen Victoria decided that the title remains ‘Duke’ regardless if the sovereign is male or female) and the estates are still run on her behalf.

The majority of the ruins date from the 14th and 15th centuries although the remains of the chapel date from the 12th century. Mary, Queen of Scots was held prisoner from February 1569 arriving with 60 attendants. By all accounts Mary hated the place after a sympathetic jailer, Bess of Hardwicke’s husband George Talbot, was placed by a harsher one. She was held in a three storey wooden building. If you look carefully enough you can still see the foundations marked out with stone. Mary finally left in December 1585. She was beheaded two years later in 1587 at Fotheringhay castle.

Apparently there are good views but all we could see was rain.
There were several interesting chaps from www.silverfletchings.info/ reenactment group while we were there avoiding the rain in the main building. We spent at least an hour chatting to the people there.

John of Gaunt entrance

Remains of chapel in foreground

Date of visit: 7th June 2009

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