Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sepia Saturday-Castles from my past

I'm sure if any of you look far enough into your genealogy you'll find a castle or two. I remember seeing some in my family tree. The more I look, the more I find. Here's a few.

 Castle Roche, County Louth, Ireland.
My ancestor, Alice de la Roche was born here in 1287.

Gilling Castle, Gilling East, North Yorkshire, England.
Another ancestor, Richard Fairfax was born here in 1390
Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire. My ancestor, Jane Bigod, wife of Richard Fitzeutace was born here in 1105.

 Tintagle Castle, Cornwall. My ancestor, Amicia Archdeacon was born here in 1380.
In legend, King Arthur was conceived here and so, apparently was Amicia.

Eardisley Castle, Herefordshire. Nothing much left. This is an archaeological dig at the site of the former kitchen. Two of my ancestors came from here- William Baskerville and the de Lacy family.
The site (and the de Lacys) are mentioned in the Doomsday book in 1087 as a part of the inventory of William the Conqueror's new kingdom. It also has a connection to The Hounds Of The Baskervilles", although the story doesn't take place here.

But wait, there's more:

Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales built by my ancestor, Geraldus Fitzwalter de Windsor. in about 1100

For more castle stories go to


Brett Payne said...

I've been to Arthur's supposed castle at Tintagel too.

My wife is descended from Jane Bigod's brother Hugh, 1st Earl of Norfolk - her 3g-grandmother was Eliza Bygott (1800-1870), a direct descendant of Hugh Bigod - so I suppose we must be sort of related (by marriage).

Blue Heron said...

When I look at my genealogy all I see is a White Castle. The crappy square hamburgers with the holes in them. I think that we are from a different neighborhood.

Little Nell said...

You come from an illustrious line of castle-builders! I know Belvoir Castle (it's pronounced Beaver) set in the lovely Vale of Belvoir and would visit as a child.

Bob Scotney said...

I've written about King Arthur and Tintagel today and included Belvoir in my tour of castles in the A-Z Challenge last year.
It sounds as though you have aristocratic blood in you.

Nigel Aspdin (Derby, UK) said...

You are not related to the Pinocchio family by any chance?

As for the Union Flag and Welsh flag flying from a supposed castle in County Louth...Hmmmm !! A cause for some serious trouble....were it true.

But Gilling Castle ! Last July I went on a walking retreat at Ampleforth Abbey, which is also a well known boys public school (that's a private school...I am sure you know). One day our Monk walked us to Gilling Castle, the other side of the valley, it is the prep school (9-13)for the public school. We were shown especially the boys dining room,the Great Chamber. In 1929 when the school bought the castle the owner retained the panelling and glass of the Great Chamber and sold it separately to the USA !! A heritage crime of an awful degree. It was recovered and reinstalled in the 1950s, kindly financed by the Pilgrim Trust. It is "described in recent times as the finest example of an Elizabethan room to survive into the 21st Century". Its pretty amazing relic from the past, but what is so special is that the boys eat their breakfast lunch and evening meal there every day and it has all the feeling of a classic prep school dining room in heavy use.

This is the best illustration I could find but there are photos also at various sites

It is slightly ironic that my flippant and highly inaccurate report about Conway Castle being sold stone by stone to Twitty City, USA, should have been written this week.

Tattered and Lost said...

You included one of my faves, Tintagle. I loved it, though the climibing the stairs had me wondering if I was out of my mind, especially in the less than pleasant weather.

barbara and nancy said...

Bob Scotney,
If I have any aristocratic blood it sure got watered down. I'm beginning to think if you trace your family back far enough we all have aristocrats in our background. In fact we're probably all related.

barbara and nancy said...

I went back and tried to find the line to the Bigods and it looks like I made a mistake. I'm related to Richard Fitzeustace's 2nd wife, Albreda De Lisoures not Jane Bigod, his first wife. But luckily, Albreda is also from a castle- Halton Castle in Skipton, Yorkshire. But I'm so disappointed that I'm not related to you and your wife. Now I'm going to have to look up Halton Castle.

barbara and nancy said...

After finding my mistake about Jane Bigod (see my note to Brett) I'm beginning to think I am from the Pincchio family and my nose is growing.
So I checked my Gilling Castle connection and it seems right (according to, anyway). From the Fairfax family (1390) to the Curwen's to the Christian's to the Lacy's (my g.g.grandmother).
I'm sure glad they got their paneling and glass back.

Blue Heron said...

The previous comment is spam. Be careful opening the link, in fact don't.

Postcardy said...

You sure have a lot of ancestors that lived in castles!

barbara and nancy said...

Wow. I didn't realize we come from so much royalty. Why aren't we rich.


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