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Yorkshire's Secret Castles (ePub)

A Concise Guide and Companion

World History > UK & Ireland > England > Yorkshire & Humberside

By Paul C Levitt
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 62.4 MB (.epub)
Pages: 147
Illustrations: 80 b/w
ISBN: 9781526706225
Published: 29th November 2017


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There is no single event in the history of our nation that has impacted society as profoundly as the Norman Conquest. These were brutal times and revolts prompted the erection of a large number of timber and earth castles, the majority being built between 1071 and 1145. Yorkshire has many examples and this book goes in search of sites that represent the earliest feudal stamp of the Normans on the county’s landscape. Many are situated off the beaten track and command superb views of outstandingly beautiful countryside, while others are close to populated areas. In some instances, the visible remains have long since blended into the local scenery due to land cultivation, decay, neglect, vandalism, or uncaring (or unwitting) civil engineering works. A few were subsequently development in stone, but the majority remain obscure and go largely unnoticed by all but the most informed visitor. Indeed, many locals are blissfully unaware of what once existed on their very own doorsteps. Where can they be found? Who built them? What were they like? What tales can be told about their turbulent histories? What traces of them remain? Yorkshire’s Secret Castles has the answers.

Yorkshire’s Secret Castles reveals,
listing and detailing 75 known sites
within the county. It was the period after
the Norman Conquest, often brutal and
rebellious times, which prompted the
erection of a large number of timber and
earth castles, the majority being built
between 1071 and 1145. Today many are
situated off the beaten track, often
forgotten in beautiful countryside, while
the visible remains of others have long
since blended into the local scenery or
simply been lost. Indeed, many locals are
blissfully unaware of what once existed
on their very own doorsteps. This book
will help you find them

Village Publications

In essence, this is a satisfying introduction and guide to set the reader on a quest round the county; the sort of book that sits comfortably on the shelf with other guides to be taken down and consulted whenever the reader wants a themed day out in the countryside.

Family & Community Historical Research Society

This admirable book fills a gap in the history of fortification in Yorkshire.
Very fully illustrated, clear site plans drawn in an innovative and pleasing form, and a location map. Yorkshire's Secret Castles is very welcome. It has a most comprehensive bibliography testifying to the author's research, and an index.
Highly recommended for aficionados of timber castles, and essential for a field trip.

Fortress Study Group

As featured by

This England, Summer 2018

Aughton Castle extract as featured by

On: Yorkshire magazine

Pickering Castle extract as featured by

On: Yorkshire magazine

From cathedrals to castles - the other amazing buildings the Normans gave us. Only this time it's secret castles, ones that have probably not survived the ravages of time, but for which evidence nevertheless remains. A brilliant book, one that celebrates the hidden beauties and secrets of Yorkshire.

Books Monthly, Paul Norman

In his Preface to this volume, the author defines ‘Secret’ castles as being those that have been ‘…Largely forgotten, neglected, concealed or encroached upon by later developments’. He also notes that ‘More than a century ago, antiquary W.M. I’Anson surveyed many of North Yorkshire’s ‘secret’ castles. This book follows in his footsteps [and]…also adds…further sites that give a broader picture for...Yorkshire as a whole’. It is a fair summation...

This volume is likely to be of interest to those with an interest in both English Medieval castles in general and those in Yorkshire in particular. Historians researching ‘English’ history may also find the information contained there-in of interest (the qualifications given above notwithstanding). Day Trippers travelling within the County may also find it a useful guide. Wargamers with a specific interest in the ‘English’ Medieval era may also find the castle site-maps useful.

NZ Crown Mines

About Paul C Levitt

Born into a military family in the historic market town of Beverley, East Yorkshire, Paul C. Levitt has always been intrigued by the past. He developed a keen awareness of Yorkshire’s rich heritage as a schoolboy and developed a particular interest in the medieval period. Yorkshire’s unique landscape and especially the North York Moors made a strong impression on him and to this day remains a magical place. He has written professionally on a wide range of subjects for the past 25 years.

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