Yattendon Castle

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Yattendon Castle
Yattendon, Berkshire, England
Yattendon Castle is located in Berkshire
Yattendon Castle
Yattendon Castle
Coordinates 51°28′03″N 1°12′21″W / 51.4676°N 1.2059°W / 51.4676; -1.2059Coordinates: 51°28′03″N 1°12′21″W / 51.4676°N 1.2059°W / 51.4676; -1.2059
Grid reference grid reference SU55267459
Type Fortified manor house
Site information
Condition Limited earthworks
Site history
Events English Civil War

Yattendon Castle was a fortified manor house located in the civil parish of Yattendon, in the hundred of Faircross, in the English county of Berkshire.

History[edit]

The site upon which Yattendon castle stood was originally occupied by a moated manor house.[1] This house was held by Sir Richard Merbrook by the early 15th century.[1] His daughter, Alice, married Sir John Norreys of Ockwells (d. 1 September 1466), a Knight of the Shire for Berkshire, and keeper of the wardrobe for King Henry VI.[1] The castle was then in the ownership of the Norreys family for over 200 years.[1]

Sir John bought many neighbouring estates and received a Royal licence to crenellate the manor house on 20 January 1448 and to empark some 600 acres (2.4 km2).[1] John and Alice's son, Sir William Norreys (1433–4 January 1507) later inherited the castle.[2] He was among the army King Henry VII brought from Brittany in 1485 and was present at the Battle of Bosworth.[2]

The castle was probably the residence of William's eldest son Sir Edward Norreys (d. 1487) during his father's lifetime. Edward Norreys was the father of two sons: Sir John Norreys (1481–21 October 1564), who inherited the castle, but died without legitimate issue,[3] and Sir Henry Norreys, who was beheaded in 1536 for his supposed affair with Queen Anne Boleyn.[1] The castle then passed to Edward's grandson, Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norreys (1525–1601), the son of the above-mentioned Sir Henry Norreys.[1] Henry Norreys was a lifelong friend of Queen Elizabeth and was the father of six sons, who included Sir John Norreys, a famous English soldier.[1]

The castle was largely destroyed by Parliamentary forces during the English Civil War.[1] A new manor house was built on the site in 1785.[1] Traces of the moat can still be seen today.[1]

Royal visitors[edit]

  • Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were visitors at Yattendon Castle in 1520. While there, it is said that the Queen's lady-in-waiting, Anne Boleyn, of whom the King was already enamoured, dropped her handkerchief during a dance. It was retrieved by Sir Henry Norreys.[1] This incident, later referred to as "Queen Anne's Dance", would be used as evidence, during Anne and Norreys trials, to support rumours of their affair.
  • Princess Elizabeth stayed at Yattendon Castle on her way to imprisonment at Woodstock.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Ford, David Nash (2001). "Yattendon Castle". Royal Berkshire History. Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Ford, David Nash (2005). "Sir William Norreys (1433-1507)". Royal Berkshire History. Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Ford, David Nash (2005). "Sir John Norreys (d. 1564)". Royal Berkshire History. Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 

External links[edit]