Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Re-assessing and re-interpreting Tattershall Castle

Lincolnshire Live has a report about recent work on the dating and construction of that marvellously evocative structure Tattershall Castle. This can be seen at Tattershall Castle could be even older than previously thought

The report is, of course, only a summary and it would be very interesting to read the full study and see what else it adds to our understanding of the castle. 

There is a useful account of the castle from Wikipedia at Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire

Lord Cromwell’s tower at Tattershall Castle

Image: Wikipedia

The National Trust has another useful account of the history of the castle at The history of Tattershall Castle in a nutshell

There are some good photographs of the castle before it was restored and also some of the adjacent collegiate church at The Remarkable Story Of Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire.

The fifteenth century brick Great Tower is basically all that survives beyond foundations and most of this impressive castle. Nevertheless it is a wonderful structure, rescued and restored by Lord Curzon rather over a century ago. The Great Tower is certainly impressive and emanates the life in its echoing rooms the grandeur of aristocratic life in the reign of King Henry VI.

The tower was the work of Ralph Lord Cromwell, Treasurer of England and a significant builder - in addition to the new great tower at Tattershall he also founded and rebuilt the collegiate church there and also his impressive manor house at Wingfield in Derbyshire. In that respect he was rather like the “new men” - the Cecils, Christopher Hatton, the Cavendishs and their like as well as older families like the Talbots a century and more later. In addition building accounts survive for the work offering a detailed insight into the creation of this landmark building. 

Lincolnshire is a county from whence come some of my ancestors, and I first visited Tattershall with my parents when I was about four years old or thereabouts. The period when what survives there was built is one in which I have particular interest as an historian and Tattershall has a particular call on my caffections.

If readers have not visited Tattershall I would strongly urge making time to do so - the castle and church are a wonderful insight inro the age of King Henry VI.

No comments: