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staircase was solid, containing no chamber or dungeon beneath.
The keep of Sandal was of the circular or shell type, with walls 14 feet thick, the masonry of which consisted of large stones in rough courses with wide irregular joints; the substance of the wall was of smaller stones well grouted with strong mortar containing much sand and stone chippings as a bind. The internal diameter of the keep was 55 feet. Connected with the keep were three towers. The south tower, connected with the forebuilding, was composed of two half-round battlemented turrets flanking the entrance, and produced rearward into a rectangular building, the greater part of the foundations of which have disappeared; each of these turrets contained rooms, which were circular with the inner side flattened to contain a doorway, leading to a lobby communicating by another doorway with the interior of the keep. The doorway from the south turret opened into a passage about 8 feet wide, running round the west side of the keep between the curtain and an inner wall to the west tower, which was the only means of communication with the latter. This passage was on a lower level than the groundfloor of the keep, and four steps near the south turret had to be ascended in getting from it to the keep. The south tower was built of ashlar, battlemented, and with a slatestone roof; it was of three stories in height and had four prison houses or dungeons in it, and one of the three wells of the castle was contained in it. The west tower was semicircular, and projected from the curtain-wall; it had four floors, containing a chamber in each, and having two loopholes, looking west and south, pierced in the thickness of the wall. The internal masonry of this tower was of ashlar, closejointed, of good workmanship, and the tooling is still very distinct; the ground-floor of it was paved with flags; on either side of the passage entrance was a recess in the wall, which came down to the floor, and at one time was fitted with a wooden frame to hold a door. Like as in the turrets of the south tower, the inner side of the apartment was straight and contained a door leading to a lobby and steps which conducted to the passage round the inner side of the curtain previously described. The north tower was larger than that on the west side, and hung over the steepest side of the mound; to ensure its not giving way the foundations were carried to
a great depth, and the whole base of it, 18 feet outside the curtain, was built solid into the mound, so as to give it great strength and resisting power, and to prevent it cracking by settlement. It measured 36 feet from east to west, and was four stories in height. This tower would command the gatehouse, and was pentagonal in shape outside the curtain; in its construction ashlar was used, and the external masonry is very good. In the centre of the keep, and connected with, if not actually a part of the south tower, was a large room with a great fireplace, which was probably used as lodgings for the soldiery.
We have traced the history of this feudal castle up to the middle of the fourteenth century, when the last of the de Warren line, a race who had held it for nearly three hundred years, died without a son to succeed him.
"For lack of heirs, the Earl's domain
In 1362, Edmund of Langley took possession of the Yorkshire estates which had been granted to him by his father, who at this time created him Earl of Cambridge, and in 1385, he was elevated to the Dukedom of York by his nephew, Richard the Second. It appears that he occasionally resided at Sandal Castle, and in 1397 he obtained a licence in mortmain for St. Mary's Chapel on Wakefield Bridge," and signed the foundation deed on Aug. 20, 1398. The Duke died in 1402, and was buried at Fotheringhay; he was succeeded by his son Edward, Duke of York and Albemarle, who was killed at the battle of Agincourt, 1415. The Yorkshire estates finally came into the possession of his nephew Richard, Duke of York, who, as a boy, had been immured for ten years in the Tower of London, with Robert Waterton of Walton (a manor adjoining to that of Sandal), as his gaoler. The Duke married Lady Cicely Neville, a daughter of Ralph, Earl of Westmoreland, and by her had twelve children. When the Wars of the Roses broke out, Baynard's Castle, the riverside residence of the Dukes of York, was garrisoned, and there the Duke and Duchess remained from
16 Sandal in the Olden Time. A 17 Patent Roll, 20 Ric. II. p. 3, m. 13. Poem. W. H. Leatham.
October 10th to December 2nd, 1460, when the Duke, accompanied by his son Edmund, Earl of Rutland, set out northwards, and arrived at his castle of Sandal on Sunday, December 21st, and here they spent their last Christmas. The Lancastrian army was stationed at Pontefract Castle, and on Tuesday, December 30th, a division of them attacked a foraging party who had been sent out from Sandal towards Wakefield. The fray was seen from the castle, and the Duke of York, against the advice of Sir David Hall, ordered an advance of his whole army; the drawbridge over the moat at the gatehouse on the north side of the castle was let down, and the duke's force of 5,000 men marched out and down the lane now known as Cock and Bottle, or Manygates Lane, which was then the London Road, to the fields sloping down towards the Calder in the direction of Wakefield bridge. No sooner had they done so than the main body of the Lancastrian army under Lord Clifford, who had been in ambush near Milnthorpe, on the south side of the castle, swept forward between the river and the fortress, then, cutting off all retreat to the latter, drove the Yorkists nearer to Wakefield. The castle, being left almost unguarded, was, at the very commencement of the battle, captured and held by a troop under James Butler, sometime previously created Earl of Wiltshire by the Queen. The battle was fought in what was then known as Wakefield Green, but now as Cock and Bottle lane, Manygates, and Portobello. The Duke fell mortally wounded at a place long marked by three willow trees (two of which were standing in 1865, the following year one was blown down, and the last of them has now disappeared), which grew about 100 yards above the site of Manygates Toll Bar, now disused. In memory of this sad event, the duke's son, when he ascended the throne the following year as Edward the Fourth, erected a cross on the spot where his father fell, and this remained until the Roundhead soldiery demolished it in the Civil War, when Sandal Castle was besieged. The cross stood in a small plot of ground on the west side of Cock and Bottle lane, a hundred yards beyond the junction of this lane and the one leading between the castle and the river to Milnthorpe; this plot was surrounded by a fence, which the owner of the land was obliged by his tenure to keep in repair.
A large gold ring was found near this place, and was
deposited in Ralph Thoresby's museum at Leeds. At the sale of his effects, it was purchased for two guineas by Mr. Benj. Bartlet, F.S.A., who remembered the finding of it. On the ring were engraved in effigy the Blessed Virgin with two other Saints. Within was the motto Pur bon amour,18 (Fig. 1.)
On January 27, 1763, Mr. Bartlet exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries, an antique onyx seal, found in 1760 near Sandal Castle, exhibiting a soldier with a helmet and lance, leading a horse; round the gold rim in which it was set, ran this monkish inscription, MANTICA MENTITVR IANVA NOSTER EQVS.19 (Fig. 2.)
Nearly half of the five thousand whom the duke led forth from Sandal Castle perished in the fight, and, according to local tradition, their bodies were thrown into great trenches dug in the field above that in which their leader was slain; a letter written at the time by a son who visited the bloody field in search of the dead body of his father, says that, "at midnight the kindly snow fell like a mantle on the dead, and covered the
18 Camden's Britannia. Gough's Ed. 1789. Vol. III. p. 34, Pl. I. fig. 12.
19 Archæologia, Vol. VIII. p. 427, Pl. XXX. fig. 1.