Castle Trivia
Castles of Britain

Castle Trivia

© 1995-2018 Lise Hull

Human Bone fragments found inside a wall at Pontefract Castle in 2019 could be up to 1,000 years old. A right femur (thigh) bone and probable ulna (arm) fragments were uncovered by workmen who were clearing earth from the exterior walls of the 15th century King’s Tower.

Caerlaverock Castle located in Scotland was besieged by king Edward 1st. He had a huge Trebuchet but as soon as the garrison saw it they surrendered but Edward would not except it until he had shot it.

One of the longest siege of a castle was that of Donnington Castle located in Berkshire England. It lasted from July 1644 to April 1646.

Excavations have shown that Framlingham Castle was built over a Saxon burial ground.

The first use of cannon in Scotland to attack a castle was in 1334 when Regent Andrew Moray captured Dundarg Castle.

The keep at Bridgnorth Castle, located in England, leans at 17 degrees, three times further than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The first castle in Wales to exhibit two mural towers projecting forwards to flank the curtain was Newcastle. It is located in Glamorgan.

The first castle in Britain to be designed specifically for defense by guns was Ravenscraig Castle located in Scotland. Built in 1460.

Cubbie Roo's Castle, built in 1145, was one of the earliest stone castles to be built in Scotland.

In 1813 a walled up skeleton was found in one of the vaults of Craigmillar Castle.

In 1787 Robert Burns was knighted at Clackmannan Tower by Henry Bruce's widow with the sword of Robert the Bruce.

New Buckenham Castle keep is the largest in diameter to be found in England.

The first of the Edwardian castles to be built in Wales was Flint Castle.

The largest castle in England is Windsor Castle.

The largest castle in Wales is Caerphilly Castle.

Mitford Castle has the only five sided keep in England.

Being 80ft tall and 80ft in diameter at the top, Haughley Castle is one of the largest mottes in Britain.

Rochester Castle keep rises to 115ft, making it the tallest Norman keep in Britain.

One of the earliest surviving stone castle gatehouses in England is at Exeter Castle. It was built in 1068.

The well at Windsor Castle is 6ft 4in in diameter and 165ft deep. It has dressed stonework to a depth of 60ft below the surface of the ground.

Chepstow Castle, begun in 1068, is one of the very first stone castles in Britain.

Cymmer Castle, in Gwynedd Wales, was built and destroyed in the same year. 1116.

Someries Castle, in Bedfordshire England, is one of earliest brick buildings in the county.

All the inhabitants of Cainhoe Castle, in Bedfordshire England, died due to the "Black Death".

Anstey Castle motte, in Hertfordshire England, survived a crash of an American bomber in 1944.

Orchardton Tower is the only circular free-standing tower house in Scotland. It was built by John Cairns in the 15th century.

Loch Doon Castle once sat on an island in the middle of Loch Doon. In 1934 the castle was moved, stone by stone, to the west shore of the Loch.

One of the last tower houses to be built in Scotland was Lethendy Tower, dating to 1678.

Kelburn Castle, in Scotland, is one of oldest houses continously occupied by the same family.

The westernmost castle in Scotland is Kiessimul, located on the Western Isles.

At 1476 feet up, Castell Dinas is the highest castle site in Britain. It is located in Wales.

One of the largest castle ruins in England is Kenilworth Castle, located in Warwickshire.

Wales' oldest lived in castle is Penhow Castle. Built by Sir William St Maur in the early 13th century.

The last castle in Britain to be besieged was Blair Castle, located in Scotland. Lord George Murray attacked and damaged it in 1746.

Traquair Castle is the oldest inhabited house in Scotland, and has been visted by 27 kings. It dates from 1492.

The death mask of Mary, Queen of Scots, is in the 14th century keep at Lennoxlove House, Scotland.

Killyleagh Castle is the oldest occupied castle in Ireland. It was built in the 13th century.

Thornbury Castle was the last major fortified manor house to be built in England. Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, began building it in 1511.

During a siege of Kenilworth Castle in 1266 the defenders were forced to surrender, after six months, due to dysentery.

In 1250, Walter de Clifford forced a royal messenger to eat the king's Writ, wax seal and all.

The most northerly castle in Britain is Muness Castle, located on the Shetland Isles.

The spiral stairs in castle towers are designed to ascend clockwise as to make the attackers expose more of their body in order to use the sword in their right hand.

For a Christmas feast in 1206 at Winchester Castle, King John's orders to the sheriff included 1,500 chickens, 5,000 eggs, 20 oxen, 100 pigs, and 100 sheep.

Swords were blessed and given names due to their cross-shape.

Expenses at Caernarfon Castles included 7d for a watchmen to blow his horn to signal the beginning and end of the worker's shift.

At Exeter Castle, in 1136, the garrison used wine to extinguish fires from a siege.

In 1150 there were an estimated 1,115 unlicensed castles in Britain.

At the siege of Bedford Castle, the garrison hauled up the royal standard on the destroyed keep in token of their submission.

The medieval long-bow had a range of 220 yards.

166 houses were pulled down in order to build Lincoln Castle.

No two castles are the same. This is due to topography, taste, available materials, and the ability of the designer.

Super-heated sand was used in warfare. It penetrated the joints of armor and made the attacker run in the opposite direction.

In 1349, on St. Georges Day, the Order of the Garter was instituted with 26 knights.

A knight's wages were 8d per day and he was expected to serve for 40 days.