FOTHERINGHAY CASTLE

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FOTHERINGHAY CASTLE

Little remains of Fotheringhay Castle, birthplace of the future King Richard III on 2 October 1452, and the place of execution for Mary, Queen of Scots on 8 February 1587. The first castle was probably built by Simon de Senlis (St Liz), Earl of Northampton and Huntingdon, around the year 1100. It began as a simple motte and bailey affair on the north bank of the River Nene, guarding the river crossing.  For many years, it was in royal Scots hands, though seized from the Balliols by Edward I.  By 1341, a stone tower stood on the motte.  Two chapels, a great hall, chambers and a kitchen stood within the inner bailey, with a gatehouse and drawbridge over the inner bailey ditch.  In the 14th century the castle came into the ownership of the Dukes of York and became a Yorkist administrative centre. After King Richard's death at Bosworth in 1485, it fell into the hands of the new Tudor king, Henry VII. Henry VIII gave it to Katherine of Aragon (who spent large sums on it) and, after their divorce, it was passed to each of Henry's subsequent wives. It was little used after Queen Mary's execution, fell into decay and was dismantled in 1628. There is only one remaining visible piece of masonry, but the motte, outline of the bailey and the moat are clear. It is in a delightful location, on the eastern edge of Fotheringhay village and on the north bank of the River Nene.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Fotheringhay
County
Northamptonshire
Post Code
PE8 5HZ
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Tip/Nearby
Peterborough
Primary Management
Private - open to the public

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