View Full Version : Spofforth Castle

08-14-2011, 09:26 PM

Well...actually its not a Castle its "a fortified manor house" but anyway. Spofforth Castle is not too far away by bus, and because there isnt much left of it, English Heratage list it as FREE ENTRY :happydancing: There was apparently a cross shaped, two leveled building, but only the one level of one of the four wings remain.

They tell me it was owned by someone called Mr Percy, who was a personal friend of King William I (You might know him better as William the Conquerer) Founded in the middle of the Great Knaresborough Forrest in the late 1000s He planted the village called Spofforth, apparently he was quite an influential person, as was his entire family. They helpped draw up The Magna Carta, The Early English Constitution to try and give Barrons rights against His Majesty King John.

But after such a long history, the story has a sad ending. The Percy Family decided to back The House of Lancaster during the War of The Roses. Now ultimately the succession was solved by the marriage of York to Lancaster...but in practise, York won....Spofforth is very close to York, so it was front line for fighting, and the place was abandoned as the Percy Family moved further North after York won. For a Century the Castle lay in ruin. Then a member of the Percy Family rebuilt it, and gave it over to a line of stewards to look after it in their name. The records run cold in the early
1600s, we do know that the place was trashed during the English Civil War...its been a Shell ever since. Wasnt until just before the Second World War. During the 1800s a Barony called Leconfield was created to cover the same area as was once owned by Baron Percy....now...Baron Percy still exists, but covers the area he moved to after the War of the Roses. The New Baron of Leconsfield, gave it to the Crown as a gift. Whereupon it was passed to English Heretage for maintenance

There has been 7 Barons of Leconfield since they took over Spofforth , there was 8 Barons of Percy before The War of the Roses at Spofforth. The Percy Family moved and would go on to become Dukes of Northumberland, which is quite major because before England was under one crown, Northumberland was a Kingdom in its own right. A Further Four Barons between Roses and Dukes, and then a line of twelve dukes, to the one who is in The House of Lords today born in the 50s called Ralph....His son who is Earl (and will be duke when his Father dies is called George...he's two years my junior right now.

08-14-2011, 09:36 PM
this line I hasten to add, isnt related to the Dudley Family which were given the Title first...their line came to an abrupt end when Queen Mary rulled, because they were sort of sexually involved with Jane Grey who was the other contender to the throne...Father got the chop for treason, son ran away and was never heard of again (the Percy family was still barons at this time)

They tried again with George Fitzroy who was an illegitamate child of King Charles the second (which is EXTREMELY dangerous considering who his Father was during the Civil War :laugh:) Maybe not suprisingly, noone wanted to spawn with him and he went extinct taking his title with him (the Percy family were earls at this time)