|Bolton Castle not in Bolton - a little gem|
|Mary, Queen of Scots, did time here|
Bolton Castle was built in the 14th century by the first Baron of Bolton, Richard le Scrope, an accomplished soldier and statesman, who became Lord Chancellor under Richard II. One wonders if Baron Bolton toyed with the idea of calling his pile ‘Scrope Castle’, but we’ll probably never know. It’s still owned by his descendents and has an interesting history. Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned there – apparently she enjoyed a reasonable amount of freedom, hunting and walking in the gardens. It is also said that she learned English during her stay, being hitherto fluent only in Latin and French. The castle was damaged on the orders of Henry VIII in retaliation for the 8th Baron’s Catholic sympathies and was besieged by the Roundheads during the Civil War. Despite all of this, it is remarkably well preserved and the owners have gone out of their way to show it not only as a medieval fortress, but as a residence too. The views from the battlements are great. There are pleasant gardens, a maze and wild pigs root in the woods opposite the car park. What more could you ask?
You’ll find Bolton Castle in Yorkshire’s famous Wensleydale, between Hawes and Leyburn off the A684 north west of Aysgarth. In the charming village next door, there is also a nice little church, St Oswald’s. Visit Bolton Castle's website.