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Pictures of Conisbrough Castle

a Castle in the town of Conisbrough, in the county of South Yorkshire

About Conisbrough Castle

The dilapidated ruins of Conisbrough Castle make an impressive sight, particularly its keep, which is unusual in design. The castle was constructed in the 12th century by Hamelin Plantagenet, the half-brother of Henry II, it replaced an earlier fortress of wooden construction. It was built at around the same time as Dover Castle, and was one of the first circular keeps to be built in Britain. It is also unusual for the six vast wedge shaped buttresses which support it, for these rise above the roof level as turrets. These turrets are all completely solid save for one, which houses a small chapel.

To any would be invader this mighty stronghold must have presented a daunting prospect, for what is left to see today, although crumbling in parts, is far from diminished. The keep still stands and the stonework is well preserved. The base of the keep is splayed for extra strength, and the semi-circular bailey surrounding it on three sides is enclosed by high curtain walls. This is also splayed at the base, and is further reinforced by solid towers.

Looking around the site it is easy to identify where the living quarters must have been, although almost nothing of these remains. Story boards are strategically placed, these illustrate how the castle would have looked when it was in its "hey-day" entertaining Royal visitors. Originally, there would have been four storeys, though all the floors are gone, these would have been reached by a stone stairway in the thickness of the walls. The third and fourth storeys would have been the domestic accommodation, as illustrated by fireplaces in the walls.

Conisbrough Castle makes an evocative visit, it is exceptionally well preserved and parts have been "dressed" to give an impression of what it was like for the Earl's who once resided here. Despite its strength, the castle was already in ruins by Tudor times, but the fact that so much of it remains is a tribute to those who built it so very long ago.

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