« PreviousContinue »
fortress, which he is said to have named Richmond. But he was not content with the ordinary earth-and-timber castle usually thrown up by a Norman baron. Alan le Roux was no ordinary baron ; as the holder of the great Honour of Richmond he was almost a prince, for his vast property was, as it were, within a ring fence, forming one huge unbroken tract of country, a shire in itself, in which his power and influence was absolute and paramount. As a general rule the possessions of a great tenant-in-capite were much scattered, so that he was compelled to erect a number of castles, one to defend each considerable portion of his property. As we have already seen, under our notice of Foss Castle, Nigel Fossard, or his immediate successor, would appear to have erected no fewer than five castles on the Fossard estates, and yet those estates covered but little more than a third as much land as was contained in the castellry” of Richmond. Owing to the strategic importance of the site selected, only one great castle was needed by Count Alan, and consequently he was in a position to lavish upon that one structure all the labour and material which another baron, of equal but scattered estates, would have to spend on the erection of ten or a dozen castles. Thus it comes about, owing to the unusual circumstances of the case, that we have at Richmond a great stone fortress of the last quarter of the eleventh century, a castle of unrivalled interest in the wonderful preservation of its eleventh century hall.
As this article is practically devoted to those Norman castles of the North Riding which never developed works in masonry, or where no masonry now exists, a history and description of Richmond is deferred until we come to deal with it among the rectangular keep castles of the Riding. 2
1 “ Hic Alanus primo incepit facere castrum et munitionem juxta manerium suum capitale de Gilling, pro tuitione suorum contra infestationes Anglorum tunc ubique exhaeredatorum, similiter et Danorum, et nominavit dictum castrum Richmond suo ydiomate Gallico, quod sonat Latine divitem montem, in editiori et fortiori loco sui territorii situatum." Mon. Angl., V, 574, from an MS. compiled in the reign of Edward III.
2 The genealogy of the early Counts of Richmond is still not perfectly clear. A charter given in the Mon. Angl., iii, 550, if genuine-and so far as the writer is aware its authenticity has never been questioned-would appear to throw some light upon the subject. This charter reads as follows : Notum sit omnibus legentibus et audientibus literas
has quod ego Conanus, dux Britanniae
comes Richmondiae, Alani comitis filius, concessi et dedi et presenti carta confirmavi ecclesiae sanctae Mariae Eboraci, et monachis ibidem Deo servientibus, in puram et perpetuam elemosinam, pro me ipso et pro salute patris et matris meae, et pro animabus avunculorum patris mei, comitum videlicet Alani Rufi et Alani Nigri, quicquid ipsi avunculi patris mei, comitis, et avus meus, comes Stephanus, et pater meus Alanus dederunt sive confirmaverunt," etc. Witnesses : Robert de Gant, Robert the chamberlain, Hamelin the chancellor, Hervey fil. Acheris, David Lardenariis, William the sheriff, Wigan fil. Cades, Galfrid Boniface, William fil. Roald, Arnold the clerk, Eudes the marshal, et multis aliis apud Eboracum.
SCARBOROUGH. During the intestinal warfare of the time of Stephen, William le Gros, Earl of Albemarle, one of the most powerful of the Yorkshire barons, erected a stone castle on the huge rocky promontory on which Henry II's keep now stands. The Meaux chronicler tells us that William, surnamed Le Gros, Earl of Albemarle and Holderness, observing this place to be admirably situated for the erection of a castle, increased the great natural strength of it by a very costly work, having enclosed all the plain upon the rock by a wall, and built a tower at the en
But this being decayed and fallen, King Henry II commanded a great and strong castle to be built upon the same
Early in 1155, Henry II advanced to York with a large army, and William le Gros, realising that resistance would be useless, surrendered his castle of Scarborough at the king's command.3 Doubtless Henry's first intention was to destroy the fortress, as he destroyed so many of the castles run up in the time of Stephen, but apparently struck by the superlative excellence of the site, he decided to complete the structure, and between 1158 and 1174 erected the still partially existing keep."
A description and history of this great castle will be given in that portion of this work dealing with the rectangular keep castles. All that
now remember is that in 1154 Scarborough was a more or less strongly walled enclosure devoid of a stone keep.
1 William le Gros, Earl of Albemarle 2 Chron. de Melsa, ii, 3. The tower (whose descendants bore the arms
at the entrance,” referred to by the gent, a chief gules”), founded, in 1150, chronicler, would undoubtedly be conthe abbey of Meaux or Melsa (Chron. structed of timber; in no other way is Mon. de Melsa, Rolls Ser., i, p. xiii). it conceivable that in so short a time, He already, previous to the foundation some twenty years, intervening between of Scarborough Castle, possessed a great its erection by the earl and the seizure fortress at Skipsea, East Riding, the of the fortress by the king, could it earthworks of which still exist and are have become, as the chronicler tells us, of great interest. The motte, which is decayed and fallen." This timber 46 feet high and about 100 feet in dia- keep probably stood on or near the site meter at the summit, in mediæval times of the present magnificent stone tower, was surrounded by a swamp, and the and it may have contained the earl's bailey, which covers no less than 81 private apartments. acres, is the largest known to the writer. 3 Chron. Stephen, etc., Rolls Ser., i, 104. This castle of Skipsea is said (Chron. de 4 Pipe Rolls Soc., vol. I, pp. 29, 30, 31; Melsa, i, 89) to have been founded by ii, ; iv, 36; 50;
57, 58; vii, Drogo de Bevrère, and was destroyed II, 12 ; xii, 79 ; xiii, 31. by Henry III in 1221 (Rot. Lit. Claus., Rec. Com., i, 4746).
SHERIFF HUTTON (fig. 6). History.--At the time of the Survey, Nigel Fossard (see Foss Castle), one of the two great Yorkshire feudatories of Robert, Earl of Mortain and of Cornwall, was the principal landowner in Sheriff Hutton. Very soon after the Survey, certainly before 1100, Nigel gave this manor, with other property in the district, to Aschetil de Bulmer, whose name (probably in his capacity as the chief Fossard feudatory) appears as the second witness to Nigel's important charter to St. Mary's, York, between that of Robert, Nigel's eldest son and heir, and that of Stephen, his second son. Aschetil de Bulmer was also an important landowner in the adjoining county of Durham, but the pedigree of the family would never appear to have been properly worked out. Camden tells us that Bertram de Bulmer, 8 the son of Aschetil, erected a castle at Sheriff Hutton in 1140, and this may be the true history of the foundation of the castle, although it is quite possible that it may really owe its origin to Aschetil c. 1100. Bertram de Bulmer was one of the few North Riding adherents of the Empress against Stephen—it will be remembered that his neighbour, Eustace Fitz-John of Malton, was also an opponent of Stephen--and his castle was besieged and captured by Alan, Count of Richmond. Bulmer's principal interests apparently lay in the county of Durham, and in August, 1144, he captured the church of Merrington, some nine miles south of Durham, which Cumin, the usurper of the see of Durham, had fortified to hold his lines of communication with his ally, Alan of Richmond.4 On the death of Bertram the manor of Sheriff Hutton passed by the marriage of his daughter and heiress, Emma, to Geoffrey de Neville,5 who died in 11946
1 D.B., fo. 300b, col. 1; fo. 306a, col. 1; fo. 373, col. 1. The first entry informs us that in Hotune (Sheriff Hutton) the king held 4 carucates; the second that Nigel Fossard held carucates under the Earl of Mortain ; the third that Nigel had seized the lands of Turulf, Turchil, and Turstan, which they held under the king-an action thoroughly characteristic of Nigel.
founded the monastic house of Tupholme, C. 1168. The Nevilles, who derived their name from Neuville-sur-Toque, settled in Lincolnshire at an early date. By his wife, Emma de Bulmer, Geoffrey had issue a son, Henry, and two daughters, Avice and Isabella. Henry, who died s.p., confirmed the grant made by his grandfather, Bertram de Bulmer, to the Priory of Marton (Dugdale, Mon. Angl., vi, 199, No. ii), and gave it additional property. Avice also died s.p. Isabella married
2 Aschetil de Bulmer succeeded a certain Osbert as Sheriff of Yorkshire. This must have occurred in 1915 as Osbert died in that year. Mon. Angl., i, 241b; vi, 11796-80, 12726. 3 Arms
of the Bulmers : Gules, billette or, a lion rampant of the second. He founded the Augustinian Priory of Marton. Burton, Mon. Ebor., 265.
Symeon of Durham, i, 158.
6 Geoffrey de Neville was the eldest son and heir of Gilbert de Neville, who
Robert FitzMeldred, the Saxon lord of Raby, and had a son, Geoffrey Fitz-Robert, who assumed the name of Neville, but retained his parental arms, the famous " Gules, a saltire argent." In 1382 his descendants commenced the erection of the stately “ fortress-palace of Sheriff Hutton.
. Surtees' Durham, iv, 158.