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CastleUK Blog
February 2008
The blog page, a place where I can record and then archive my monthly updates and what's been happening in my hunt for castles UK.
2 of this months castles, are from my January 2008 trip to North Wales, where we revisited some of our favourite castles and some new ones.
January was a good castle hunting month for us, we enjoy watching Time Team, when they visited Codnor Castle, I think it was a first for them, digging a castle with standing remains and finding something, the King Henry V gold noble coin was mint and a great find, plus I had visited the castle before them, which is a first for me. Lots of people clicked on my Codnor Castle page after the programme, which always makes me feel happy.
Then we were off for our 2 nights in Ruthin Castle, very grand driving up to the front door, its a big old place, it's only 19th century but it felt right. Our room was at the top of the stairs, with a view of the outer ward ditch and when we went down stairs there was just room after room, anyway we soon found the bar and the fire because the rooms were a bit on the cold side and I could feel why they wore jackets in the old days, luckily I had mine. The next day we had a good look at the 13th century walls, with the west gate being the best bit and I found out why they name it Castell Coch, when I slipped, going down into the outer ward ditch and ended up covered in red mud!! but that's me.
Click on the picture, for more information.
Hastings Castle Wallpaper
Hastings Castle, OS 199/TQ 821-094 Sussex England, is this months wallpaper.
The picture was taken in February 2005 and I was lucky enough to get snow but boy it was cold on that hill. Taken from the motte, it shows the Collegiate Church of St Mary-in-the-Castle, with the pier and the new town in the background.
Ruthin Castle
Ruthin Castle, OS 116/SJ 123-580 Denbighshire Wales, is a 13th century stone pentagonal enclosure fortress, founded by King Edward I. Built on a red sandstone ridge, the castle was given to Prince Dafydd ap Gruffydd, in 1277. In the late 13th century, Reginald de Grey flanked the revetted curtain wall of the inner ward with large rounded mural towers and a twin-towered gatehouse. The site is a privately owned hotel and access is restricted to guests with reservations for an overnight stay or dining in the restaurant. A great castle to look around but you have to be a guest.
Hawarden Castle
Hawarden Castle, OS 117/SJ 319-653 Flintshire Wales, is a 12th earthwork motte and bailey fortress, founded by the Norman invaders. Built within Iron Age ramparts, the large motte supports the remains of a late 13th century two storey circular keep, founded by King Edward I. The site in the main part of Hawarden Castle Park is freely accessible in daylight hours, through an arched gateway in the village centre. Great little village with 2 castles, so it's not to be missed. A board by the gate, says you can go inside the castle 2:00-5:00pm, I'll be going back to have a look.
Basing House
Basing House, OS 186/SU 663-526 Hampshire England, is an early 12th century earth and timber ringwork and bailey fortress, founded by the de Port family. In 1261, Robert de St John founded the stone castle, when adding a keep and a gatehouse encased by a heighten rampart but the outer defences remained of timber. In 1531, Sir William Paulet, constructed the Citadel inside the ringwork, when he was granted a licence to crenellate. Later to the north east of the ringwork, he had constructed a brick Tudor palace. The site is owned by Hampshire County Council and is open, Wednesday to Sunday 21 March to September 2:00-6:00pm. Great site, with enough to see, I wish I could have seen it before Cromwell got to it.

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