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JOHN OF GAUNTS CASTLE

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The standing ruins of a royal hunting lodge known as John of Gaunt's Castle, situated on a spur of land projecting north into the valley now occupied by the Beaver Dyke reservoirs. The hunting lodge took the form of a stone tower standing on a square shaped platform surrounded by a moat with a large outer bank. The remains of a gatehouse survive at the southern edge of the platform. The tower no longer stands, but the foundations for it survive as prominent earthworks. The moat surrounding the platform is 4 metres wide and 2 metres deep. The east and west outer banks are substantial, measuring 12 metres in width with steep sides up to 2 metres high. At the north there is a low outer bank grading into the natural fall of the land to the north. At the south side there is a wide flat topped bank with a short slope to the rear. The monument was a royal hunting lodge for the medieval park of Haverah lying within the Forest of Knaresborough. It would serve as a royal residence and administrative centre when the king was hunting in the forest. The first reference to the lodge was in 1333 when substantial repairs were carried out to what was an already well established building. The records show that at this time the lodge had a chapel, a hall and a queen's chamber. Haverah Park was created in the late 12th century and the lodge may date to this time. The 1333 repairs also included the construction of the moat. The lodge was in the king's hands until 1372 when it was aquired by John of Gaunt.

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