>Conisbrough Castle

>I left Ravenfield at about 1:30pm and got to Conisbrough in time to eat my picnic in the car. Then I walked up the hill and joined English Heritage. This was another direct debit set-up that won’t hit my account for about 28 days, but the lovely chap there also gave me 3 months extra membership free for setting up the direct debit. He gave me a temporary membership card there on the spot too – I’m still waiting for the one from The National Trust.

You can see the castle quite well from both the road and the railway line, but it was nice to be close to it for a change:

They had on a living history display, and today they were playing Robin Hood. I thought this might be Maid Marion but now I think she’s just a peasant:

Here is how it looked from on top of the keep, with the living history thing going on at the right of the picture:

They had archery to join in with too:

Targets have changed since my day:

The wind was very kind and blew at exactly the right time for me to get a picture of these colourful banners:

A view through one of the windows, barred over for health and safety reasons I think:

I love the way this old stone looks and just want to touch, stroke and feel the texture. I think this must have once been a 1st floor doorway:

The keep close up. The stonework reminds me of a modern tower block. This was where the court rooms would be, but also where the family and community would be taken to for safety in times of strife:

You can walk to the top of the tower, stopping off on any of 3 floors for a rest. Each room has an illuminated (in the modern way, not the medieval way) notice board telling visitors what would have gone on in the room they’re standing in. I wasn’t surprised to see garderobes (one of which smelled very authentic …), but I was surprised to see big, open fireplaces with chimneys.

Down at the park it looks as though this soldier is guarding the castle:

If you look closely at the role of honour on this side of the war memorial, you can see an addition to the names at the bottom. I think it’s possible a soldier once shot for desertion in WW1 may have since been cleared and had his name added, but I haven’t found any evidence of this and I have been looking.

This stone castle dates back to medieval times and those are the dates it is gradually being restored to. It does, however, date back much further than this to when a wooden Anglo-Saxon fort or castle would have occupied the same spot. Wooden floors have been replaced, stonework has been repaired, and hopefully there is more restoration to come.

The castle escaped civil war rampage as it had already fallen into dis-use by then and was already partially ruined. It’s unique in that there are no others like this one surviving anywhere else in Europe, although they think they have evidence of a similar one in France, from where the family that lived here came over with King William. Before then the castle was owned by King Harold. Apparently.

The sun was very kind, it came out for us by the end of the day, but it was too late for me to go anywhere else, and I got home at about 4:30pm. I’d covered about ½ a mile in about 30 – 45 minutes, half of it uphill.

You can see the full album and slideshow if you like to both places visited last weekend on Photobucket here, and on Webshots here.

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