Baynard's Castle

Baynard's Castle

Military Structure
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Baynard's Castle

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Baynard's Castle refers to buildings on two neighbouring sites in London, between where Blackfriars station and St Paul's Cathedral now stand. The first was a Norman fortification constructed by Ralph Baynard and demolished by King John in 1213. The second was a medieval palace built a short distance to the southeast and destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. According to Besant, "There was no house in more interesting than this". The original castle was built at the point where the old Roman walls and River Fleet met the River Thames, just east of what is now Blackfriars station, a strategic location that matched the Tower of London to the east of the City. The Norman castle stood for over a century before being demolished by King John in 1213. It appears to have been rebuilt after the barons' revolt, but the site was sold in 1276 to form the precinct of the great priory of Blackfriars.

About a century later, a new mansion was constructed on land that had been reclaimed from the Thames, southeast of the first castle. The house was rebuilt after 1428, and became the London headquarters of the House of York during the Wars of the Roses. Both Edward IV and Queen Mary took the crown at the castle.

The house was reconstructed as a royal palace by Henry VII at the end of the 15th century, and Henry VIII gave it to Catherine of Aragon on the eve of their wedding. After Henry's death the house came into the hands of Catherine...
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