Saturday, 8 October 2011

Where Next?

"But it says we have to go into THAT door next... or is it upside down?"

The tree which shades our intrepid explorer, is Lady Anne's Yew, planted here in Conduit Court,  Skipton Castle, in 1659, to shade future visitors, and allegedly, as a symbol of Lady Anne's belief in the longevity of her castle. Yews are sacred trees, from long before christianity, they're seen as protection, of the warding away of evil. 
Back in the 1600s,  there was a bloody civil war in England. 
Skipton castle, royalist, held out in a three-year siege by Cromwell's parliamentarian army.  There followed a negotiated surrender.

The garrison was allowed to surrender the castle, and march out in full military order, whilst retaining their arms. This was significant, the defenders were not to be taken prisoner, but to be allowed to march unhindered and unmolested, to another town of their choosing, which remained in the hands of the Royalists. Many, however, acknowledged that for them, the war was over, and returned to heir homes.
Skipton was the last great castle in the north to fall. Part of the surrender treaty agreed that the parliamentary army would respect and take care of the property of Lady Anne.
Cromwell ordered that all those castles which had stood against him should be 'slighted', that is, their walls should be broken down, their power destroyed. In Skipton, however, unlike in most other castles of the north, it seemed that respect for its countess, the only woman to have defied Cromwell for so long, protected it. the roofs and upper battlements were torn off, but much of the fabric remained. Lady Anne petitioned parliament for the right to restore her castle, and was granted it, with the proviso that the roofs were not to be remade strong enough to ever again support cannon.

Those interested in this history might find it here.


  1. That was really Cavalier of Cromwell, I think.

    How did one get cannon up on the roof of a castle before the days of choppers?

  2. Obviously, before helichopters, one might have heavy-lift dragons on standby for cannon-lifting. Wyverns are altogether too flimsy for the job, though two wyverns, roped together can just about lift a bombard. Hence their being carved in stone.

    Actually, the cannons were jacked into place and the castle then built beneath them.

    Cromwell was an arse.
    But his commander-in chief, Lord Fairfax's family were long-time friends of the Cliffords, I think we can assume it was largely due to Fairfax's intervention that Skipton was spared destruction.

  3. Intrepid explorer ... nice. I can't help it. I'm an A to B to C kind of person. I was afraid I was going to miss something really interesting if I didn't follow the map. Go ahead and tease me. I can take it.


  4. Cromwell an arse? That's what yew think.

  5. Can I say hello to RDG occasionally on your blog, please? I read hers but I can't think of anything to say there that does her poetry justice. And on the other one I just keep forgetting to. Thank you. If I can't, just delete this comment and then I will know.

  6. I keep forgetting to thank you for not running any Pink Floyd videos lately. One of your readers appreciates it. :)

    Naw... go ahead! No, don't. Do. Don't. Don't. Don't.

    Just do what the majority request.

  7. Hi Max,

    Good to see you keeping Soubry on his toes, dotting his i's and crossing his t's. He gets away with far too much. Keep up the good work!


  8. Max, of course you may talk to the other inmates. Red Dirt Girl will of course make her own decisions as whether to reply.....

    Dammit... traitorous wench!

  9. Adullamite? You do know that the castle's raison d'etre was to protect Skipton from the thieving cattle-stealing Scots?

  10. RDG, I'm going to cross my eyes and dot my tees from now on.

    Think Ployd....

  11. Make sure you're standing on your toes when you do all that crossing and dotting!

    What? No kisses for me ??????


  12. I was thinking ployd, and whilst I wasn't looking, the squirrels stole the x from my keyboard and then the dog ate my homework and......


  13. ohhh, you're such a charming devil!


Spam will be reported and swiftly deleted. I will put a curse upon you if you post spam links.