From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Bolingbroke Castle

53° 9′ 50.9″ N 0° 0′ 58.97″ E

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Bolingbroke Castle is located in Bolingbroke village, Lincolnshire. It was maintained by English Heritage up until 1995 when Heritage Lincolnshire took ownership. In the summertime, the castle is home to numerous events including Shakespeare's plays.

Bolingbroke was fortified by the Anglo-Saxons in the 6th century. When the Normans arrived in the area they built a Motte and Bailey castle on a hill close by to keep control of the area. This was abandoned in favour of the current location when Ranulf, Earl of Chester, came to rebuild the wooden structure out of stone upon his return from the Fifth Crusade in 1220.

In 1361, John of Gaunt acquired the castle. His wife Blanche of Lancaster, died of plague in the castle in 1368. Their son, Henry Bolingbroke became King of England in 1399. By the 16th century the castle was rapidly becoming derelict, but when work was carried out in 1636, the towers were found to be beyond repair.

The castle was put into service during the First Civil War by Royalist forces but was badly damaged during a siege in 1643, as part of the Battle of Winceby. The Parliamentarians captured the castle but lost it a year later. The castle was slighted to prevent further use against Parliament. The walls and towers were torn down and used to fill the moat.

The castle was built of Spilsby greenstone, a limestone that proved to be porous, prone to rapid deterioration and a substandard building material. The castle was constructed as an irregular polygonal enclosure and is one of the earliest examples of a uniform castle designed and built without a keep. The last major structure collapsed in 1815.