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BOLINGBROKE CASTLE

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A castle, built in circa 1220-30, by Ranulf de Blundeville , Earl of Chester and Lincoln (although possibly an earlier castle in some form, perhaps a motte and bailey, may have been in the vicinity on a different site between 1154-1216). The castle was enlarged in the 14th century. It was altered in the 15th and 16th century. The main 15th feature is the octagonal tower on the south-west side of the castle known as the King's Tower. The form of the castle is of an "enclosure" castle, that is to say it comprises curtain walls protected by towers surrounding a courtyard which contained a number of buildings such as a great hall and a range of service buildings. In the case of Bolingbroke Castle these were timber framed. Although the already dillapidated castle withstood a brief seige by parliamentary forces during the Civil War in 1643, it was subsequently slighted, deserted and fell into ruin, now visible only as a series of earthworks and ruins. The main castle was excavated between 1965 and 1973, now open to the public under guardianship. The castle was the birthplace of Henry Bolingbroke, the son of John of Gaunt and later Henry IV, in 1367. The elevations and reveals of the eastern lancet window of the south tower were recorded in March 2000 following the vandalism of an archway in the tower. The work was carried out in order that reconstruction of the arch could take place. To the south of the castle is a rectangular earthwork called the Rout Yard, which has been variously interpreted either as a fishpond, an animal compound, or perhaps more probably a 17th century fort connected with the Civil War activity here. The site is in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.