Rockingham Castle

Rockingham Castle

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Rockingham Castle

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Rockingham Castle is a former royal castle and hunting lodge in Rockingham Forest a mile to the north of Corby, Northamptonshire.


The site on which the castle stands has been used in the Iron Age, Roman period and by the invading Saxon. This is because its position on elevated ground provides clear views of the Welland Valley from a strong defensible location.

William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a wooden Motte and Bailey at Rockingham in the 11th century shortly after the Norman Invasion of Britain. Within three decades, William II replaced it with a stone castle. A stone keep was added to the large motte and the outer bailey was enclosed by a curtain wall. The castle was then used as a Royal retreat throughout the Norman and Plantagenet periods. Nearby Rockingham Forest was especially good for hunting wild boar and deer.

In 1270, Henry III strengthened the castle with the addition of a twin D-tower gatehouse. But less than a century later Edward III became the last monarch to visit the castle while it was possessed by The Crown.

By the late 15th century Rockingham Castle had fallen into disrepair. Edward Watson (founder of the Watson Family dynasty) acquired the castle from Henry VIII. Parts of the castle were subsequently replaced with a Tudor house with gardens. The former royal castle became a hunting lodge for the nobility.

In the 1640s, Rockingham was garrisoned by troops loyal to Charles I during the English Civil War....
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