Bolingbroke Castle, Lincolnshire

This extensive Castle is one of the most historically important in England and was once one of the most magnificent.

A Castle was raised here by the Earl of Lincoln during the Anarchy, which may have been somewhere close by in which case nothing exists of it.  However, it may have been utilised by Ranulf de Blundeville, Earl of Chester, who built the stone Castle here in the 1220s.  The Castle has a hexagonal plan with corner towers and a gatehouse, it was one of the earliest Castles of its kind.  The Castle passed to the Dukes of Lancaster and in 1367 Henry of Bolingbroke ,son of John of Gaunt was born here.  As the Wars of the Roses progressed Henry usurped Richard II (see Pontefract Castle, Yorkshire) and became King Henry IV.

The Castle became a favourite seat of the Lancastrian Kings, and during Tudor times was occupied frequently by the monarch, right up to and including Elizabeth I.

However, the Civil War put paid to all this magnificence (as usual) when it fell to the Roundheads in 1643 and was reduced to rubble.  Much of the Castle was left underground until the 1970s when the footings and foundations we see today were uncovered and showed just how large and magnificent Bolingbroke Castle in its heyday must have been.

The Castle is owned by English Heritage and is open all year.

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