A-Z Challenge - F
Fotheringhay Castle and Mary Queen of Scots
The village of Fotheringhay is situated six kilometres north east of Oundle in the county of Northamptonshire. There is nothing left of its castle today other than the motte on which it was built which provides excellent views of the River Nene.
|Site of Fotheringhay Castle - 2009|
Site of Fotheringhay Castle The motte and bailey is all that remains of Fotheringhay Castle, where Mary, Queen of Scots was executed. Behind is the modern Castle Barn and beyond, Fotheringhay Church.
The Norman castle was built around 1100. The motte topped by a stone keep was surrounded by a moat. King Edward III (1312-77) rebuilt the Norman castle and granted it to his son, Edward, Duke of York. In 1452 the wife of a later Duke of York gave birth to the future Richard III. The reign of Richard III was short (1483 – 85) as he was killed at the Bosworth during the War of the Roses.
Henry VIII gave it to Catherine of Aragon as part of her dowry but she refused to go there. The castle became infamous as the site for the imprisonment and execution of the tragic Mary, Queen of Scots. She was tried and convicted for treason and beheaded in the Great Hall on 8th February 1587.
(If you are squeamish you may want to give the video a miss)
The castle fell into disrepair and in 1627 it was razed to the ground, its fixtures and fittings sold. The great horned windows and the staircase down which Mary walked to her execution ended up in the Talbot Hotel in Oundle. Reputedly Mary’s face is seen occasionally gazing out at passers-by.
Hilary Melton-Butcher's Castle E - Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire
- Site of Fotheringhay Castle: By Ian Simpson 2009 – Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license. (Geograph Project Collection)
Video: Execution scene taken from the BBC series 'Elizabeth R' (1971). Starring Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth and Vivian Pickles as Mary, Queen of Scots. No copyright infringement intended