Ruined Castles Tour Part II

WW pic 1Christina here and as Nicola was telling you the other day, we had a lovely day out at the ruins of Goodrich Castle recently. I had never visited before and it was a fascinating place. What was more, it had so much in common with my favourite castle ruin nearby – Raglan. Both were established in the 11th century, both held by the Royalists during the English Civil War, then fell to the Parliamentarians in 1646 and were subsequently destroyed. A sad fate for such lovely places! I hope you will indulge our obsession for castle ruins a second time this week as I continue by telling you a little more about Raglan.

Raglan Castle is about 12WW pic 2 English miles (19.2 km) from Goodrich and built on the same sort of principles with a keep, a courtyard, towers, living quarters, a great hall, a chapel and a moat. However, in its final incarnation, it was almost twice as big, and more of a palace than a castle fortress.

After the Norman Conquest of England, the border with Wales – the Welsh Marches – was of strategic importance and lots of castles were established there to protect vital locations. Raglan may have been one of them, but no part of the original construction remains. In 1172, Earl Richard de Clare – “Strongbow” mentioned by Nicola – granted Raglan to a Walter Bloet (or Bluet), and his family held it until the 14th century when the male line died out. A daughter, Elizabeth, then married twice, with Raglan ending up the property of her second husband William ap Thomas. Just like at Goodrich, there are fascinating documents from this period, detailing things like expenditure of 9 pence for a “hook and hinge for the door of the latrine of the Lord’s Chamber” – he obviously had the luxury of having his own.

WW pic 3William ap Thomas was from minor Welsh gentry, but incredibly ambitious. He was knighted by king Henry VI and given the stewardship of the Duke of York’s estates in Wales. When Elizabeth died, Raglan became the property of her son James (from her first marriage), but eventually William was able to purchase it from him for £667 – in modern money £300,000. He had married another heiress – Gwladus, who was described by a poet as “the star of Abergavenny” (a nearby town) – how is that for a nickname! Apparently when she died 3,000 people attended her funeral.

William began to build the grand castle whose ruins we see today, and his son, William Herbert, continued. The son came to be even wealthier and more powerful than his father and was eventually created Earl of Pembroke – the first member of Welsh gentry to be so honoured. As he continued remodelling Raglan Castle, another poet wrote that it had a “hundred rooms filled with festive fare” and a “hundred chimneys for men of high degree”. But circumstances can change rapidly and Earl William wasn’t able to enjoy his luxurious home for long – following a defeat in battle in 1469, he was summarily executed and the castle passed to his 14-year old son. Later the line died out again and another heiress, also called Elizabeth, married into the Somerset family.

WW pic 4By the 17th century, Henry Somerset, 5th Earl and 1st Marquis of Worcester, was the owner of Raglan. He was a staunch Royalist and also a Catholic, and at the time of the Civil War, when religious tensions were running high, this was not ideal. Tales about the Spanish Inquisition had made the majority of Englishmen suspicious of Catholicism, but at the castle, arguments about religion were not permitted.

The Marquis and his family lived in great splendour, almost as though he had his own court, and Raglan was richly furnished and decorated. The castle also had amazing views and extensive gardens consisting of terraces with flowerbeds, arbours, walks, knot gardens, summer houses and fountains. These days they are all gone and there are only steep, grassy banks. At the back of the castle was a fish pond – or “great poole” – stocked with carp and other fish, and with islands featuring ornamental trees, a formal water garden and walks around it. There was also an orchard and several parks containing all kinds of deer.

WW pic 6

The Marquis' Coat of Arms in the Great Hall

By 1646 things were not going well for the Royalists and the Marquis must have known that he’d probably have to withstand a siege. He wasn’t one to give in though – his family motto was ‘Mutare vel timere sperno’ (“I scorn to change or to fear”). Instead, he began careful preparations. He had a garrison of 800 men, he had new fortifications built, and he laid in stocks of provisions. He also cut down a large part of his beautiful trees and burnt some cottages so he’d be able to see the enemy coming.

Almost all of Wales was Royalist, even though the King had never showed much interest in them. However, only a few places still held out and Raglan was one of them. Some of the local gentry sought refuge in the castle and as there were ample private quarters, they could all be accommodated. Having looked around the castle ruins, however, I have no idea where all the 800 soldiers slept – they must have lived in very cramped conditions even if they took turns. And feeding them all was quite a feat! There is a huge kitchen in one of the towers, but I feel very sorry for the cooks as I imagine it would have been like a furnace working in there during a hot day in July.

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Kitchen fireplace

The Marquis was in his late 60s (born in 1577) and he suffered from gout so he was never going to do any actual fighting, but he was definitely one of the King’s most devoted friends. He had lent His Majesty vast sums of money – it was said he’d spent as much as £1 million on behalf of the King, which was an astronomical amount at that time – and been made a marquis in 1642, presumably for this reason.

The King and his relatives visited Raglan several times during the war and were royally entertained. One of them was Prince Rupert (you might remember I have a soft spot for him!), and in July 1645 the King himself had arrived with some of his aristocratic friends. He had recently lost the battle of Naseby in disastrous fashion, but instead of worrying about it, he seems to have spent three weeks at Raglan doing things like playing bowls and having theological discussions.

At the beginning of June 1646, the siege began, with the Parliamentarian New Model Army surrounding the castle and building earthworks. The Marquis was given the option of surrendering, but he said he wouldn’t unless he had the King’s express authority. The King had, in fact, sent an order to the commanders of all his garrisons to surrender, but both Raglan and Goodrich ignored this. The Marquis’s soldiers didn’t sit around idly waiting to be captured, but sallied out time and time again to engage in hand to hand combat, but there weren't enough of them.

WW pic 8All through July the castle held out. Everyone crammed in there must have been terrified, living with the constant noise of musket and cannon fire, falling masonry and shrieks of those who were injured. They probably also looked out longingly at all the things they couldn’t reach – the fish in the pond, the fruit in the orchards, the ripening harvest. They would have known the fate of other castles, which added to the tense atmosphere. One time a musket ball came through a window and hit the Marquis on the side of his head, but he was fine and seemingly unruffled. And somehow he was managing to have extra supplies smuggled into the castle so no one starved except the poor horses who didn’t have enough hay.

On 31st July they received the sad news that Goodrich had surrendered, and at the beginning of August the Roundhead General Fairfax arrived with even more men. It was the beginning of the end. The Marquis exchanged letters with Fairfax and tried to negotiate (in other places that had been sacked most of the people were killed). Normally, under the laws of war, if the attackers had to storm a place, no quarter would be given, but Fairfax offered fair terms for both the soldiers and civilians. The Marquis himself, however, had to submit to Parliament. His men wanted to refuse and die to a man, but he was adamant he would sacrifice himself even though he was touched by their loyalty.

WW pic 5In the end, the siege had lasted ten weeks, but it was always going to be hopeless. Everyone inside the castle were allowed to march out on the 19th August, but they had to surrender their arms once outside and the soldiers disbanded. They weren’t taken prisoner though and were allowed to leave. The poor Marquis was conveyed to London and never saw his beautiful home again. By December he had become very ill and died. Like Goodrich, Raglan was “slighted” – that is, totally destroyed, including the Marquis’s fabulous library.

These days, nothing is left of the amazing interiors, but you can still imagine the grandeur of the place and some things remain, like the enormous oriel window of the Great Hall. I find it a very sad and poignant place, but I love visiting nonetheless and based my novel The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight on that last, desperate siege.

If you were stuck inside a medieval castle under siege, what historical figure would you want by your side? I think you can guess my choice.

120 thoughts on “Ruined Castles Tour Part II”

  1. Sieges never seem to end well for the besieged. Forget the hero, I’d want a few good men with picks and shovels to dig a tunnel exiting at least a quarter mile away!

    Reply
  2. Sieges never seem to end well for the besieged. Forget the hero, I’d want a few good men with picks and shovels to dig a tunnel exiting at least a quarter mile away!

    Reply
  3. Sieges never seem to end well for the besieged. Forget the hero, I’d want a few good men with picks and shovels to dig a tunnel exiting at least a quarter mile away!

    Reply
  4. Sieges never seem to end well for the besieged. Forget the hero, I’d want a few good men with picks and shovels to dig a tunnel exiting at least a quarter mile away!

    Reply
  5. Sieges never seem to end well for the besieged. Forget the hero, I’d want a few good men with picks and shovels to dig a tunnel exiting at least a quarter mile away!

    Reply
  6. That’s a very good point, Mary! Most castles seem to have secret ways of getting in and out so that would be essential. I guess the only time you could win a siege from inside was if the besiegers were in a hurry and didn’t have time to do the job properly. Otherwise the prospects did look pretty bleak!

    Reply
  7. That’s a very good point, Mary! Most castles seem to have secret ways of getting in and out so that would be essential. I guess the only time you could win a siege from inside was if the besiegers were in a hurry and didn’t have time to do the job properly. Otherwise the prospects did look pretty bleak!

    Reply
  8. That’s a very good point, Mary! Most castles seem to have secret ways of getting in and out so that would be essential. I guess the only time you could win a siege from inside was if the besiegers were in a hurry and didn’t have time to do the job properly. Otherwise the prospects did look pretty bleak!

    Reply
  9. That’s a very good point, Mary! Most castles seem to have secret ways of getting in and out so that would be essential. I guess the only time you could win a siege from inside was if the besiegers were in a hurry and didn’t have time to do the job properly. Otherwise the prospects did look pretty bleak!

    Reply
  10. That’s a very good point, Mary! Most castles seem to have secret ways of getting in and out so that would be essential. I guess the only time you could win a siege from inside was if the besiegers were in a hurry and didn’t have time to do the job properly. Otherwise the prospects did look pretty bleak!

    Reply
  11. I never get tired of reading about castles! Fabulous buildings. It’s so sad that so many were destroyed. Needlessly.
    I’d like to have Robin Hood with me in a siege😄
    Especially if he looked like Errol Flynn!!!
    Great post!

    Reply
  12. I never get tired of reading about castles! Fabulous buildings. It’s so sad that so many were destroyed. Needlessly.
    I’d like to have Robin Hood with me in a siege😄
    Especially if he looked like Errol Flynn!!!
    Great post!

    Reply
  13. I never get tired of reading about castles! Fabulous buildings. It’s so sad that so many were destroyed. Needlessly.
    I’d like to have Robin Hood with me in a siege😄
    Especially if he looked like Errol Flynn!!!
    Great post!

    Reply
  14. I never get tired of reading about castles! Fabulous buildings. It’s so sad that so many were destroyed. Needlessly.
    I’d like to have Robin Hood with me in a siege😄
    Especially if he looked like Errol Flynn!!!
    Great post!

    Reply
  15. I never get tired of reading about castles! Fabulous buildings. It’s so sad that so many were destroyed. Needlessly.
    I’d like to have Robin Hood with me in a siege😄
    Especially if he looked like Errol Flynn!!!
    Great post!

    Reply
  16. Thank you, Teresa! Yes Robin Hood would be most useful – no doubt he could pick off quite a number of besiegers one by one with his arrows. As long as I don’t have to go up to the battlements with him – I’m not good with heights. Both the keeps at Goodrich and Raglan have amazing views but being up there is terrifying!

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  17. Thank you, Teresa! Yes Robin Hood would be most useful – no doubt he could pick off quite a number of besiegers one by one with his arrows. As long as I don’t have to go up to the battlements with him – I’m not good with heights. Both the keeps at Goodrich and Raglan have amazing views but being up there is terrifying!

    Reply
  18. Thank you, Teresa! Yes Robin Hood would be most useful – no doubt he could pick off quite a number of besiegers one by one with his arrows. As long as I don’t have to go up to the battlements with him – I’m not good with heights. Both the keeps at Goodrich and Raglan have amazing views but being up there is terrifying!

    Reply
  19. Thank you, Teresa! Yes Robin Hood would be most useful – no doubt he could pick off quite a number of besiegers one by one with his arrows. As long as I don’t have to go up to the battlements with him – I’m not good with heights. Both the keeps at Goodrich and Raglan have amazing views but being up there is terrifying!

    Reply
  20. Thank you, Teresa! Yes Robin Hood would be most useful – no doubt he could pick off quite a number of besiegers one by one with his arrows. As long as I don’t have to go up to the battlements with him – I’m not good with heights. Both the keeps at Goodrich and Raglan have amazing views but being up there is terrifying!

    Reply
  21. I agree with the above statements. Sieges are unhappy events for the besieged. They do not make for good drama if the besieged are supposed to be the heros.

    Reply
  22. I agree with the above statements. Sieges are unhappy events for the besieged. They do not make for good drama if the besieged are supposed to be the heros.

    Reply
  23. I agree with the above statements. Sieges are unhappy events for the besieged. They do not make for good drama if the besieged are supposed to be the heros.

    Reply
  24. I agree with the above statements. Sieges are unhappy events for the besieged. They do not make for good drama if the besieged are supposed to be the heros.

    Reply
  25. I agree with the above statements. Sieges are unhappy events for the besieged. They do not make for good drama if the besieged are supposed to be the heros.

    Reply
  26. I suppose it’s the honour that counts (or did in those days anyway) – not giving up on your beliefs no matter what the odds are. The old Marquis was loyal to the the king right to the end, despite all the grief and money it cost him. I admire his tenacity! But yes, being under siege must have been horrible.

    Reply
  27. I suppose it’s the honour that counts (or did in those days anyway) – not giving up on your beliefs no matter what the odds are. The old Marquis was loyal to the the king right to the end, despite all the grief and money it cost him. I admire his tenacity! But yes, being under siege must have been horrible.

    Reply
  28. I suppose it’s the honour that counts (or did in those days anyway) – not giving up on your beliefs no matter what the odds are. The old Marquis was loyal to the the king right to the end, despite all the grief and money it cost him. I admire his tenacity! But yes, being under siege must have been horrible.

    Reply
  29. I suppose it’s the honour that counts (or did in those days anyway) – not giving up on your beliefs no matter what the odds are. The old Marquis was loyal to the the king right to the end, despite all the grief and money it cost him. I admire his tenacity! But yes, being under siege must have been horrible.

    Reply
  30. I suppose it’s the honour that counts (or did in those days anyway) – not giving up on your beliefs no matter what the odds are. The old Marquis was loyal to the the king right to the end, despite all the grief and money it cost him. I admire his tenacity! But yes, being under siege must have been horrible.

    Reply
  31. Oh, please don’t put me there. I always thought time travel might be fun, but I wouldn’t want to be in a besieged castle. I think I would have to be my own hero and look for a way out (smile).
    Thanks to you and Nicola. The tour was fun.

    Reply
  32. Oh, please don’t put me there. I always thought time travel might be fun, but I wouldn’t want to be in a besieged castle. I think I would have to be my own hero and look for a way out (smile).
    Thanks to you and Nicola. The tour was fun.

    Reply
  33. Oh, please don’t put me there. I always thought time travel might be fun, but I wouldn’t want to be in a besieged castle. I think I would have to be my own hero and look for a way out (smile).
    Thanks to you and Nicola. The tour was fun.

    Reply
  34. Oh, please don’t put me there. I always thought time travel might be fun, but I wouldn’t want to be in a besieged castle. I think I would have to be my own hero and look for a way out (smile).
    Thanks to you and Nicola. The tour was fun.

    Reply
  35. Oh, please don’t put me there. I always thought time travel might be fun, but I wouldn’t want to be in a besieged castle. I think I would have to be my own hero and look for a way out (smile).
    Thanks to you and Nicola. The tour was fun.

    Reply
  36. Thank you, Mary, glad you enjoyed it! Yes, maybe you’re right and we shouldn’t depend on a hero to rescue us. We can just follow Mary M out through the tunnel her helpers are digging or perhaps sneak out at night when no one is looking 🙂

    Reply
  37. Thank you, Mary, glad you enjoyed it! Yes, maybe you’re right and we shouldn’t depend on a hero to rescue us. We can just follow Mary M out through the tunnel her helpers are digging or perhaps sneak out at night when no one is looking 🙂

    Reply
  38. Thank you, Mary, glad you enjoyed it! Yes, maybe you’re right and we shouldn’t depend on a hero to rescue us. We can just follow Mary M out through the tunnel her helpers are digging or perhaps sneak out at night when no one is looking 🙂

    Reply
  39. Thank you, Mary, glad you enjoyed it! Yes, maybe you’re right and we shouldn’t depend on a hero to rescue us. We can just follow Mary M out through the tunnel her helpers are digging or perhaps sneak out at night when no one is looking 🙂

    Reply
  40. Thank you, Mary, glad you enjoyed it! Yes, maybe you’re right and we shouldn’t depend on a hero to rescue us. We can just follow Mary M out through the tunnel her helpers are digging or perhaps sneak out at night when no one is looking 🙂

    Reply
  41. What a fabulous post, Christina! It’s been fascinating to learn more about Raglan and I look forward very much to visiting. I love the detail in those medieval accounts, don’t you. Every hinge and cart journey was accounted for and it’s such a help when we’re trying to build a picture of how people lived.
    As for a siege – I think I would have liked to drop in to see what the real experience was like (not very pleasant at all, I imagine.) I’d need a secret time tunnel to escape again, though! I think I can guess who you would want on your side if you were besieged in Raglan too!

    Reply
  42. What a fabulous post, Christina! It’s been fascinating to learn more about Raglan and I look forward very much to visiting. I love the detail in those medieval accounts, don’t you. Every hinge and cart journey was accounted for and it’s such a help when we’re trying to build a picture of how people lived.
    As for a siege – I think I would have liked to drop in to see what the real experience was like (not very pleasant at all, I imagine.) I’d need a secret time tunnel to escape again, though! I think I can guess who you would want on your side if you were besieged in Raglan too!

    Reply
  43. What a fabulous post, Christina! It’s been fascinating to learn more about Raglan and I look forward very much to visiting. I love the detail in those medieval accounts, don’t you. Every hinge and cart journey was accounted for and it’s such a help when we’re trying to build a picture of how people lived.
    As for a siege – I think I would have liked to drop in to see what the real experience was like (not very pleasant at all, I imagine.) I’d need a secret time tunnel to escape again, though! I think I can guess who you would want on your side if you were besieged in Raglan too!

    Reply
  44. What a fabulous post, Christina! It’s been fascinating to learn more about Raglan and I look forward very much to visiting. I love the detail in those medieval accounts, don’t you. Every hinge and cart journey was accounted for and it’s such a help when we’re trying to build a picture of how people lived.
    As for a siege – I think I would have liked to drop in to see what the real experience was like (not very pleasant at all, I imagine.) I’d need a secret time tunnel to escape again, though! I think I can guess who you would want on your side if you were besieged in Raglan too!

    Reply
  45. What a fabulous post, Christina! It’s been fascinating to learn more about Raglan and I look forward very much to visiting. I love the detail in those medieval accounts, don’t you. Every hinge and cart journey was accounted for and it’s such a help when we’re trying to build a picture of how people lived.
    As for a siege – I think I would have liked to drop in to see what the real experience was like (not very pleasant at all, I imagine.) I’d need a secret time tunnel to escape again, though! I think I can guess who you would want on your side if you were besieged in Raglan too!

    Reply
  46. Both of these posts have been terrific.
    I would hope that I would never be in a siege. I live in Texas – and when one learns about the battle at the Alamo, sieges do not sound like anything fit for man nor beast.
    It is terrible when I think of the books which were destroyed. And of course that would have been well after many lives had been lost. Very sad.
    I would not want to be in a siege.
    But if I were – my hero would be in body armour with an AK47. If I am gonna dream, might as well dream big.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  47. Both of these posts have been terrific.
    I would hope that I would never be in a siege. I live in Texas – and when one learns about the battle at the Alamo, sieges do not sound like anything fit for man nor beast.
    It is terrible when I think of the books which were destroyed. And of course that would have been well after many lives had been lost. Very sad.
    I would not want to be in a siege.
    But if I were – my hero would be in body armour with an AK47. If I am gonna dream, might as well dream big.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  48. Both of these posts have been terrific.
    I would hope that I would never be in a siege. I live in Texas – and when one learns about the battle at the Alamo, sieges do not sound like anything fit for man nor beast.
    It is terrible when I think of the books which were destroyed. And of course that would have been well after many lives had been lost. Very sad.
    I would not want to be in a siege.
    But if I were – my hero would be in body armour with an AK47. If I am gonna dream, might as well dream big.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  49. Both of these posts have been terrific.
    I would hope that I would never be in a siege. I live in Texas – and when one learns about the battle at the Alamo, sieges do not sound like anything fit for man nor beast.
    It is terrible when I think of the books which were destroyed. And of course that would have been well after many lives had been lost. Very sad.
    I would not want to be in a siege.
    But if I were – my hero would be in body armour with an AK47. If I am gonna dream, might as well dream big.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  50. Both of these posts have been terrific.
    I would hope that I would never be in a siege. I live in Texas – and when one learns about the battle at the Alamo, sieges do not sound like anything fit for man nor beast.
    It is terrible when I think of the books which were destroyed. And of course that would have been well after many lives had been lost. Very sad.
    I would not want to be in a siege.
    But if I were – my hero would be in body armour with an AK47. If I am gonna dream, might as well dream big.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  51. Thank you, Nicola – great idea to have a time tunnel so we can escape! And yes, I love old documents. So much fascinating information!

    Reply
  52. Thank you, Nicola – great idea to have a time tunnel so we can escape! And yes, I love old documents. So much fascinating information!

    Reply
  53. Thank you, Nicola – great idea to have a time tunnel so we can escape! And yes, I love old documents. So much fascinating information!

    Reply
  54. Thank you, Nicola – great idea to have a time tunnel so we can escape! And yes, I love old documents. So much fascinating information!

    Reply
  55. Thank you, Nicola – great idea to have a time tunnel so we can escape! And yes, I love old documents. So much fascinating information!

    Reply
  56. Many thanks, Annette! Yes, I don’t think a siege is very pleasant if you’re on the inside. A hero in body armour would definitely help though – he can shield you and get you out safe and sound. The tunnel option (whether an ordinary one or a time tunnel) seems the best!

    Reply
  57. Many thanks, Annette! Yes, I don’t think a siege is very pleasant if you’re on the inside. A hero in body armour would definitely help though – he can shield you and get you out safe and sound. The tunnel option (whether an ordinary one or a time tunnel) seems the best!

    Reply
  58. Many thanks, Annette! Yes, I don’t think a siege is very pleasant if you’re on the inside. A hero in body armour would definitely help though – he can shield you and get you out safe and sound. The tunnel option (whether an ordinary one or a time tunnel) seems the best!

    Reply
  59. Many thanks, Annette! Yes, I don’t think a siege is very pleasant if you’re on the inside. A hero in body armour would definitely help though – he can shield you and get you out safe and sound. The tunnel option (whether an ordinary one or a time tunnel) seems the best!

    Reply
  60. Many thanks, Annette! Yes, I don’t think a siege is very pleasant if you’re on the inside. A hero in body armour would definitely help though – he can shield you and get you out safe and sound. The tunnel option (whether an ordinary one or a time tunnel) seems the best!

    Reply
  61. Thank you for a fascinating post, Christina.
    If I can’t follow Mary M. and her merry band of shovelers, I’ll ask to be in the company of Merlin. Perhaps he can cast a spell to move us forward in time away from the besiegers!

    Reply
  62. Thank you for a fascinating post, Christina.
    If I can’t follow Mary M. and her merry band of shovelers, I’ll ask to be in the company of Merlin. Perhaps he can cast a spell to move us forward in time away from the besiegers!

    Reply
  63. Thank you for a fascinating post, Christina.
    If I can’t follow Mary M. and her merry band of shovelers, I’ll ask to be in the company of Merlin. Perhaps he can cast a spell to move us forward in time away from the besiegers!

    Reply
  64. Thank you for a fascinating post, Christina.
    If I can’t follow Mary M. and her merry band of shovelers, I’ll ask to be in the company of Merlin. Perhaps he can cast a spell to move us forward in time away from the besiegers!

    Reply
  65. Thank you for a fascinating post, Christina.
    If I can’t follow Mary M. and her merry band of shovelers, I’ll ask to be in the company of Merlin. Perhaps he can cast a spell to move us forward in time away from the besiegers!

    Reply
  66. I didn’t know anything about Raglan castle, so thanks for these posts. An off-topic question: do “raglan sleeves” have anything to do with this area/castle?

    Reply
  67. I didn’t know anything about Raglan castle, so thanks for these posts. An off-topic question: do “raglan sleeves” have anything to do with this area/castle?

    Reply
  68. I didn’t know anything about Raglan castle, so thanks for these posts. An off-topic question: do “raglan sleeves” have anything to do with this area/castle?

    Reply
  69. I didn’t know anything about Raglan castle, so thanks for these posts. An off-topic question: do “raglan sleeves” have anything to do with this area/castle?

    Reply
  70. I didn’t know anything about Raglan castle, so thanks for these posts. An off-topic question: do “raglan sleeves” have anything to do with this area/castle?

    Reply
  71. Oh, magic – yes, great choice of companion! It would definitely take some serious magic skills (or a lot of luck) to help a besieged castle to win. I love the thought of Merlin perhaps standing at the top of the keep casting a spell on everyone! Thank you, Kareni!

    Reply
  72. Oh, magic – yes, great choice of companion! It would definitely take some serious magic skills (or a lot of luck) to help a besieged castle to win. I love the thought of Merlin perhaps standing at the top of the keep casting a spell on everyone! Thank you, Kareni!

    Reply
  73. Oh, magic – yes, great choice of companion! It would definitely take some serious magic skills (or a lot of luck) to help a besieged castle to win. I love the thought of Merlin perhaps standing at the top of the keep casting a spell on everyone! Thank you, Kareni!

    Reply
  74. Oh, magic – yes, great choice of companion! It would definitely take some serious magic skills (or a lot of luck) to help a besieged castle to win. I love the thought of Merlin perhaps standing at the top of the keep casting a spell on everyone! Thank you, Kareni!

    Reply
  75. Oh, magic – yes, great choice of companion! It would definitely take some serious magic skills (or a lot of luck) to help a besieged castle to win. I love the thought of Merlin perhaps standing at the top of the keep casting a spell on everyone! Thank you, Kareni!

    Reply
  76. Thank you, Kathy! I didn’t know the answer to that so I had to look it up and Wikipedia says those sleeves are named after the 1st Baron Raglan, FitzRoy Somerset, who is said to have worn a coat with this style of sleeve after the loss of his arm in the Battle of Waterloo. He was obviously a descendant of the Marquis I was talking about. Although the castle was never restored, it stayed in the Somerset family so perhaps that was why this descendant chose it as his title.

    Reply
  77. Thank you, Kathy! I didn’t know the answer to that so I had to look it up and Wikipedia says those sleeves are named after the 1st Baron Raglan, FitzRoy Somerset, who is said to have worn a coat with this style of sleeve after the loss of his arm in the Battle of Waterloo. He was obviously a descendant of the Marquis I was talking about. Although the castle was never restored, it stayed in the Somerset family so perhaps that was why this descendant chose it as his title.

    Reply
  78. Thank you, Kathy! I didn’t know the answer to that so I had to look it up and Wikipedia says those sleeves are named after the 1st Baron Raglan, FitzRoy Somerset, who is said to have worn a coat with this style of sleeve after the loss of his arm in the Battle of Waterloo. He was obviously a descendant of the Marquis I was talking about. Although the castle was never restored, it stayed in the Somerset family so perhaps that was why this descendant chose it as his title.

    Reply
  79. Thank you, Kathy! I didn’t know the answer to that so I had to look it up and Wikipedia says those sleeves are named after the 1st Baron Raglan, FitzRoy Somerset, who is said to have worn a coat with this style of sleeve after the loss of his arm in the Battle of Waterloo. He was obviously a descendant of the Marquis I was talking about. Although the castle was never restored, it stayed in the Somerset family so perhaps that was why this descendant chose it as his title.

    Reply
  80. Thank you, Kathy! I didn’t know the answer to that so I had to look it up and Wikipedia says those sleeves are named after the 1st Baron Raglan, FitzRoy Somerset, who is said to have worn a coat with this style of sleeve after the loss of his arm in the Battle of Waterloo. He was obviously a descendant of the Marquis I was talking about. Although the castle was never restored, it stayed in the Somerset family so perhaps that was why this descendant chose it as his title.

    Reply
  81. The first Marquis gets great credit for negotiating for the lives of his people. Not all sieges ended so badly, though. There were plenty of ones where the attackers gave up and left, but they don’t make for stories that are so dramatic!
    Forget having a companion with an AK-4&; I want a man with a tank!

    Reply
  82. The first Marquis gets great credit for negotiating for the lives of his people. Not all sieges ended so badly, though. There were plenty of ones where the attackers gave up and left, but they don’t make for stories that are so dramatic!
    Forget having a companion with an AK-4&; I want a man with a tank!

    Reply
  83. The first Marquis gets great credit for negotiating for the lives of his people. Not all sieges ended so badly, though. There were plenty of ones where the attackers gave up and left, but they don’t make for stories that are so dramatic!
    Forget having a companion with an AK-4&; I want a man with a tank!

    Reply
  84. The first Marquis gets great credit for negotiating for the lives of his people. Not all sieges ended so badly, though. There were plenty of ones where the attackers gave up and left, but they don’t make for stories that are so dramatic!
    Forget having a companion with an AK-4&; I want a man with a tank!

    Reply
  85. The first Marquis gets great credit for negotiating for the lives of his people. Not all sieges ended so badly, though. There were plenty of ones where the attackers gave up and left, but they don’t make for stories that are so dramatic!
    Forget having a companion with an AK-4&; I want a man with a tank!

    Reply
  86. Fantastic post! I love reading and writing about castles–the history, the people, the politics. I also wrote about the English Civil War in my novel Shame the Devil. Prince Rupert gets a quick shout out in the story. 🙂 In my Royalist character’s case, his castle was sequestered by the Parliamentarians, a power only possessed by a king, so this was the first time in history property went straight to Parliament. It seems like better financial sense to sequester property than to destroy it. I guess Cromwell disagreed in this case. So sad.

    Reply
  87. Fantastic post! I love reading and writing about castles–the history, the people, the politics. I also wrote about the English Civil War in my novel Shame the Devil. Prince Rupert gets a quick shout out in the story. 🙂 In my Royalist character’s case, his castle was sequestered by the Parliamentarians, a power only possessed by a king, so this was the first time in history property went straight to Parliament. It seems like better financial sense to sequester property than to destroy it. I guess Cromwell disagreed in this case. So sad.

    Reply
  88. Fantastic post! I love reading and writing about castles–the history, the people, the politics. I also wrote about the English Civil War in my novel Shame the Devil. Prince Rupert gets a quick shout out in the story. 🙂 In my Royalist character’s case, his castle was sequestered by the Parliamentarians, a power only possessed by a king, so this was the first time in history property went straight to Parliament. It seems like better financial sense to sequester property than to destroy it. I guess Cromwell disagreed in this case. So sad.

    Reply
  89. Fantastic post! I love reading and writing about castles–the history, the people, the politics. I also wrote about the English Civil War in my novel Shame the Devil. Prince Rupert gets a quick shout out in the story. 🙂 In my Royalist character’s case, his castle was sequestered by the Parliamentarians, a power only possessed by a king, so this was the first time in history property went straight to Parliament. It seems like better financial sense to sequester property than to destroy it. I guess Cromwell disagreed in this case. So sad.

    Reply
  90. Fantastic post! I love reading and writing about castles–the history, the people, the politics. I also wrote about the English Civil War in my novel Shame the Devil. Prince Rupert gets a quick shout out in the story. 🙂 In my Royalist character’s case, his castle was sequestered by the Parliamentarians, a power only possessed by a king, so this was the first time in history property went straight to Parliament. It seems like better financial sense to sequester property than to destroy it. I guess Cromwell disagreed in this case. So sad.

    Reply
  91. LOL Mary Jo, yes a tank would certainly be useful! And you’re right, not all sieges were lost causes, but I think the odds against them winning must have been fairly high.

    Reply
  92. LOL Mary Jo, yes a tank would certainly be useful! And you’re right, not all sieges were lost causes, but I think the odds against them winning must have been fairly high.

    Reply
  93. LOL Mary Jo, yes a tank would certainly be useful! And you’re right, not all sieges were lost causes, but I think the odds against them winning must have been fairly high.

    Reply
  94. LOL Mary Jo, yes a tank would certainly be useful! And you’re right, not all sieges were lost causes, but I think the odds against them winning must have been fairly high.

    Reply
  95. LOL Mary Jo, yes a tank would certainly be useful! And you’re right, not all sieges were lost causes, but I think the odds against them winning must have been fairly high.

    Reply
  96. Thank you, Donna! Yes, very sad – I think Cromwell was just afraid these castles would fall into the wrong hands again as they were in such strategic positions and he couldn’t allow them to stay intact. But it does seem a shame they weren’t just sequestered, as you say. I’ll go and look for your novel, it sounds intriguing!

    Reply
  97. Thank you, Donna! Yes, very sad – I think Cromwell was just afraid these castles would fall into the wrong hands again as they were in such strategic positions and he couldn’t allow them to stay intact. But it does seem a shame they weren’t just sequestered, as you say. I’ll go and look for your novel, it sounds intriguing!

    Reply
  98. Thank you, Donna! Yes, very sad – I think Cromwell was just afraid these castles would fall into the wrong hands again as they were in such strategic positions and he couldn’t allow them to stay intact. But it does seem a shame they weren’t just sequestered, as you say. I’ll go and look for your novel, it sounds intriguing!

    Reply
  99. Thank you, Donna! Yes, very sad – I think Cromwell was just afraid these castles would fall into the wrong hands again as they were in such strategic positions and he couldn’t allow them to stay intact. But it does seem a shame they weren’t just sequestered, as you say. I’ll go and look for your novel, it sounds intriguing!

    Reply
  100. Thank you, Donna! Yes, very sad – I think Cromwell was just afraid these castles would fall into the wrong hands again as they were in such strategic positions and he couldn’t allow them to stay intact. But it does seem a shame they weren’t just sequestered, as you say. I’ll go and look for your novel, it sounds intriguing!

    Reply
  101. You’re absolutely right, Christina! I wish I could’ve tapped Cromwell on the shoulder and said, “You know . . . you could give it to one of your cronies. Load him up with some armaments and a few members of the New Model Army and call it a day.” 🙂 PS–Love your blog site!

    Reply
  102. You’re absolutely right, Christina! I wish I could’ve tapped Cromwell on the shoulder and said, “You know . . . you could give it to one of your cronies. Load him up with some armaments and a few members of the New Model Army and call it a day.” 🙂 PS–Love your blog site!

    Reply
  103. You’re absolutely right, Christina! I wish I could’ve tapped Cromwell on the shoulder and said, “You know . . . you could give it to one of your cronies. Load him up with some armaments and a few members of the New Model Army and call it a day.” 🙂 PS–Love your blog site!

    Reply
  104. You’re absolutely right, Christina! I wish I could’ve tapped Cromwell on the shoulder and said, “You know . . . you could give it to one of your cronies. Load him up with some armaments and a few members of the New Model Army and call it a day.” 🙂 PS–Love your blog site!

    Reply
  105. You’re absolutely right, Christina! I wish I could’ve tapped Cromwell on the shoulder and said, “You know . . . you could give it to one of your cronies. Load him up with some armaments and a few members of the New Model Army and call it a day.” 🙂 PS–Love your blog site!

    Reply
  106. Its a long time since I visited Raglan castle though your lovely photos brought back pleasant memories …. must pay another visit soon.
    If I was trapped in a siege situation near the Welsh border I would be trying to contact friends from Wales for military support. Maybe Owen Glendower could lend a hand!

    Reply
  107. Its a long time since I visited Raglan castle though your lovely photos brought back pleasant memories …. must pay another visit soon.
    If I was trapped in a siege situation near the Welsh border I would be trying to contact friends from Wales for military support. Maybe Owen Glendower could lend a hand!

    Reply
  108. Its a long time since I visited Raglan castle though your lovely photos brought back pleasant memories …. must pay another visit soon.
    If I was trapped in a siege situation near the Welsh border I would be trying to contact friends from Wales for military support. Maybe Owen Glendower could lend a hand!

    Reply
  109. Its a long time since I visited Raglan castle though your lovely photos brought back pleasant memories …. must pay another visit soon.
    If I was trapped in a siege situation near the Welsh border I would be trying to contact friends from Wales for military support. Maybe Owen Glendower could lend a hand!

    Reply
  110. Its a long time since I visited Raglan castle though your lovely photos brought back pleasant memories …. must pay another visit soon.
    If I was trapped in a siege situation near the Welsh border I would be trying to contact friends from Wales for military support. Maybe Owen Glendower could lend a hand!

    Reply
  111. Thank you Quantum, and that’s a great idea! The Welsh were brilliant archers, weren’t they, so they would be very helpful in a siege situation. And yes, the legendary Owen Glendower – he should scare off a few of the besiegers!

    Reply
  112. Thank you Quantum, and that’s a great idea! The Welsh were brilliant archers, weren’t they, so they would be very helpful in a siege situation. And yes, the legendary Owen Glendower – he should scare off a few of the besiegers!

    Reply
  113. Thank you Quantum, and that’s a great idea! The Welsh were brilliant archers, weren’t they, so they would be very helpful in a siege situation. And yes, the legendary Owen Glendower – he should scare off a few of the besiegers!

    Reply
  114. Thank you Quantum, and that’s a great idea! The Welsh were brilliant archers, weren’t they, so they would be very helpful in a siege situation. And yes, the legendary Owen Glendower – he should scare off a few of the besiegers!

    Reply
  115. Thank you Quantum, and that’s a great idea! The Welsh were brilliant archers, weren’t they, so they would be very helpful in a siege situation. And yes, the legendary Owen Glendower – he should scare off a few of the besiegers!

    Reply

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