Ten Interesting Facts About Castles in Wales

Beaumaris Castle Beaumaris Castle in Anglesey was one of the castles built by Edward I after his conquest of Wales in the late thirteenth century. Construction work began in early 1295 with many hundreds of men employed on the project and huge quantities of stone, timber and other supplies sent to the site. Over theContinue reading “Ten Interesting Facts About Castles in Wales”

Kidwelly Castle and the Owain Glyn Dŵr Rebellion

For a time in the early fifteenth century it seemed a real possibility that the Welsh rebel leader Owain Glyn Dŵr would succeed in fully driving the English out of Wales and would realise his ambition to be Prince of Wales. The failure of his rebellion was due in large part to the success ofContinue reading “Kidwelly Castle and the Owain Glyn Dŵr Rebellion”

My Ten Favourite Castles in England

Over the past year or so I have been on a quest to visit as many castles in England (and Wales) as possible. This has meant that I have seen some wonderful places around the country (although there are many more that I intend to visit). However, in this blog post I am going toContinue reading “My Ten Favourite Castles in England”

Royal Castles and Coastal Defence in the Hundred Years’ War

(Dover Castle, Kent) In this blog post I discuss the research that I have carried out into the role of royal castles in coastal defence in southern England in the late fourteenth century. My findings have been published in full in the journal Nottingham Medieval Studies. To read more see, Dan Spencer, ‘The Castle atContinue reading “Royal Castles and Coastal Defence in the Hundred Years’ War”

The Siege of Exeter (Rougemont) Castle in 1136

In mid-May 1136, King Stephen was preparing to cross to Normandy when he received news from the citizens of Exeter in Devon that the royal castle in the city had been seized by Baldwin de Redvers. The newly crowned king at once resolved to punish Baldwin and led his army to besiege the castle. ThisContinue reading “The Siege of Exeter (Rougemont) Castle in 1136”

The Rebuilding of Edinburgh Castle in the Reign of Edward III

Edward III, king of England, is most well-known for the victories he won in France during the Hundred Years’ War, notably his remarkable triumph at the Battle of Crécy in 1346. Yet in the early part of his reign his energies were focused further northwards. By entering into an agreement with Edward Balliol, a claimantContinue reading “The Rebuilding of Edinburgh Castle in the Reign of Edward III”

The Escape of the Empress Matilda from Oxford Castle in 1142

The recent heavy snowfall we have been experiencing in the United Kingdom has inspired me to write this blog post about an episode that took place in 1142 during a civil war known as the Anarchy (1139-53). In the winter of that year, the Empress Matilda succeeded in escaping from Oxford Castle, which was besiegedContinue reading “The Escape of the Empress Matilda from Oxford Castle in 1142”