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”

Establishing royal authority in the Welsh Marches in 1460

(Photograph of Wigmore Castle, Herefordshire) On the night of 12 October 1460, the Yorkist lords abandoned their army, encamped at Ludford Bridge a short distance from Ludlow, and took flight. They eventually reached safety overseas, but their followers were forced to submit to the royalists led in person by Henry VI. The king subsequently issuedContinue reading “Establishing royal authority in the Welsh Marches in 1460”

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”

How frequently were castles besieged during the Wars of the Roses?

(A photograph of Skipton Castle in Yorkshire, besieged three times between 1461 and 1464) Castle warfare and sieges are not as a rule associated with the Wars of the Roses. Admittedly some events, such as the siege of the Tower of London in 1460 or Bamburgh Castle in 1464, are well-known, but these are oftenContinue reading “How frequently were castles besieged during 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”

The Castle in the Wars of the Roses

My latest book, The Castle in the Wars of the Roses, was published last month by Pen & Sword. I am hugely excited to be able share the fruits of my labour with other people. It is has taken years of research and writing to get here, but it is great to see the finishedContinue reading “The Castle in 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”

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”

A tour of Denbigh Castle, Denbighshire

Denbigh Castle is without a doubt the finest magnate castle in north Wales and well worth a visit. It is situated in a prominent position overlooking the surrounding town and, despite its ruined state, still has an impressive appearance. Its highlights include¬†the splendid triple-towered Great Gatehouse and Great Kitchen Tower. Before taking you on aContinue reading “A tour of Denbigh Castle, Denbighshire”