Ludlow Castle and the Wars of the Roses

Ludlow was constructed at the instigation of Walter de Lacy or his son Roger in the late eleventh century in the Welsh frontier region. It is situated in a prominent position on a natural ridge that overlooks the River Teme, on the north-west corner of the adjoining town. The first castle was made of stoneContinue reading “Ludlow Castle and the Wars of the Roses”

Carlisle Castle and the Wars of the Roses

William Rufus captured the city of Carlisle in 1092 and built a castle at the northern edge of the settlement. This structure was later rebuilt in stone by order of his successor, Henry I, thirty years later, who initiated work on the keep. Carlisle was acquired by David I, king of Scots, in 1135, butContinue reading “Carlisle Castle and the Wars of the Roses”

Denbigh Castle and the Wars of the Roses

Denbigh was founded in the late thirteenth century following the conquest of north Wales, on the site of a previous Welsh residence, which is situated on a hilltop that looks over the Vale of Clwyd. Henry de Lacy was granted the lordship of Denbigh by Edward I in October 1282, with building work immediately beginningContinue reading “Denbigh Castle and the Wars of the Roses”

Kenilworth Castle and the Wars of the Roses

Kenilworth was founded in the early twelfth century by Geoffrey de Clinton, who served as chamberlain to Henry I. It initially consisted of a keep and a bailey, which was accessed via a causeway through a massive lake. Following the death of his son and heir, also called Geoffrey, in 1175, the castle passed intoContinue reading “Kenilworth Castle and the Wars of the Roses”

Alnwick Castle and the Wars of the Roses

It is hard to believe when looking at pretty Alnwick today, that it was a fiercely contested and fought over place in the late fifteenth century. In fact Alnwick was subjected to more sieges than any other castle during the Wars of the Roses. Alnwick was founded in around c.1100 by the Vescy family, whoContinue reading “Alnwick Castle and the Wars of the Roses”

Were medieval English guns dangerous to use?

Soon after beginning my PhD research into the development of early English gunpowder weapons, I started work at the Westgate Museum in Winchester. The museum is one of two surviving medieval gates to the city and has two fine late fourteenth century gun ports. On my first day, whilst being trained by another member ofContinue reading “Were medieval English guns dangerous to use?”

Royal and Urban Gunpowder Weapons in Late Medieval England

Dan Spencer, Royal and Urban Gunpowder Weapons in Late Medieval England (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2019) https://boydellandbrewer.com/royal-and-urban-gunpowder-weapons-in-late-medieval-england.html Now that my book has been out for a few months, I feel the time is right for me to provide an overview of its contents in case anybody is curious. The project was inspired, as so manyContinue reading “Royal and Urban Gunpowder Weapons in Late Medieval England”