Posts Tagged ‘Middleham’


20 MARCH 687

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Death of St Cuthbert at Inner Farne Island, off the coast of Northumberland.  He is venerated at Durham Cathedral.

He must have had special relevance for Richard III, as the statutes for his college at Middleham, which it has been suggested Richard might have written himself, state that one of the stalls for the priests should be named for St Cuthbert.  St Cuthbert’s was one of the principal feast days to be celebrated at Middleham.


Further reading:

Melhuish, Joyce M., The College of King Richard III, Middleham.  Richard III Society (nd)

Rollason, David & Dobson, R.B., ‘Cuthbert [St Cuthbert] (c.635–687)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ]Oxford University Press, 2004  [last accessed online 2 March 2020]

Sutton, Anne F. & Visser Fuchs, Livia, The Hours of Richard III.  Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd (first published 1990, paperback 1996)

Dorothea Preis

Tags: , ,



   Posted by: Isolde Martyn    in Meetings, News, NSW Branch News

At the December general meeting of the NSW branch Isolde and Julia entertained us with a variety of sketches with Ricardian themes.  And then it was our turn to get into the swing of things and sing our branch-own Christmas songs.  Here is one of them:

Oh, little town of Middleham,
How still we see thee lie.
But lying more than half a score,
King Richard to decry.
Mancini, Rous and Morton
And Hall and Holinshed
And Henry Tudor added to
The tales to help them spread.

Then Henry’s Polydore Vergil
Had Richard painted blacker,
But Sainted Thomas was a still
More modacious* attacker.
Then up rose Willy Shakespeare,
He too the truth foreswore,
Now we persevere until we hear
Their rotten lies no more.

*Never heard of the word? Neither had we but, being good Ricardians, we realised research was needed and came to the conclusion it is an adjective from the word MODALITY –the capacity to express the speaker’s confidence in the statement he or she is making.
So this might be the
mot juste for Sir Thomas’s history if you believe that he believed it.

(Words: Isolde Martyn and Eileen Larbalastier, a former member.  Photo:  Dorothea Preis)

Tags: ,


Lost in Castles

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

Lost in Castles (formerly Loyalty Binds Me), who made the brilliant DVDs of a reconstructed Middleham and Sandal Castle, just let us know that they are not charging any postage until the end of April 2012.  The reason is that in May Royal Mail is set to increase its rates.  So this is a brilliant opportunity to order that Middleham DVD or the Sandal Castle DVD you had wished for.  I’m certainly going to make good use of this offer.

If you want to look at the trailers or see pictures of other castles, go to the Lost in Castles website.

Click on the titles below to reach the Paypal payment page:

Middleham Castle DVD – £9.99

Sandal Castle DVD – £9.99

Life of William Cowper CDs – £7.99

Middleham and Sandal Castle Gift set – £15.99


Tags: ,


Middleham Church Appeal

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

The Church of St Mary and St Alkelda in Middleham, North Yorkshire, was elevated by Richard, when still Duke of Gloucester, to the status of a college in 1477 and it retained its collegiate constitution for about 350 years.

The church has a memorial window to Richard III and his family, which was given by the Richard III Society in 1934. The window has St Richard of Chichester, with his emblem of an ox, in the left hand upper light and in the right hand appears St Anne teaching the Virgin to read.  Beneath, in small panels of blue, are figures of King Richard kneeling at a prie-dieu with his son Edward behind him. Facing them is Queen Anne Neville.

A recent inspection of the church fabric revealed the need for extensive repair work, estimated to cost in the region of £160,000

As the church is a Grade I listed building, it is hoped that English Heritage will pick up a large part of the bill, but this will leave the church to raise over £30,000, of which they have about half but need help to raise the rest.

The Ricardian Churches Restoration Fund has made a contribution, but more help is needed.  For us as Ricardians it is important to show our support for this historic church, with its links to Richard III and the Richard III Society.

You can make a donation by cheque (for the details look on the website of the Richard III Society and click on “What’s New?”) or via the Society’s PayPal account. To do this log on to your PayPal account and select the Send Money option. Then select ‘Payment for Services’ option and enter the Society’s e-mail address: Enter the amount to be paid and specify GBP sterling. Please complete the ‘Message to Recipient’ box and enter ‘Middleham Appeal’ This is very important since it is the only way the Society can recognise the transaction and ensure your payment is credited to the Appeal Fund.

Photo:  The Collegiate Church of St Mary and St Alkelda, Middleham (© Copyright Bill Henderson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence)

Tags: , ,


John Rous on Richard III as Builder

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Quotes

Richard and his family (from The Rous Roll)

We have recently looked at a few of the collegiate churches founded by Richard while Duke of Gloucester or later as Richard III and will continue with a few others.

One chronicler who tells us about this is John Rous (1411-1491). Rous spent most of his life under the patronage of the Beauchamps and – after the marriage of Anne Beauchamp to Richard Neville (the “Kingmaker”) – the Nevilles.   During Richard’s reign Rous wrote The Rous Roll, a history of the Earls of Warwick, which is full of praise of Richard, the son-in-law of Richard Neville.

Once Henry Tudor was king he changed his tune completely and went on all out attack in his Historia Regum Anglie (History of the Kings of England).  This is origin of the legend that Richard’s mother was pregnant with him for two years and when he was born he had teeth and shoulder-length hair.  He also accuses him of personally killing Henry VI and poisoning his wife.

Unfortunately for Rous, copies of both texts have survived, which brought him “the distinction of being the most despised of the chroniclers”.  However, even among all the accusations of his later work, he sometimes can’t help himself and praises Richard, like in this passage where he talks about Richard’s building programmes:

This King Richard was praiseworthy for his building, as at Westminster, Nottingham, Warwick, York, and Middleham, and many other places, which can be viewed. He founded a noble chantry for a hundred priests in the cathedral of York, and another college at Middleham. He founded another in the church of St. Mary of Barking, by the Tower of London, and endowed the Queens’ College at Cambridge with 500 marks annual rent. The money which was offered him by the peoples of London, Gloucester, and Worcester he declined with thanks, affirming that he would rather have their love than their treasure.

I would not have thought that a Richard who would rather have his subjects’  “love than their treasure” fitted in well with the Tudor world view.  This is hardly a sentiment that Henry VII, with whom Rous wanted to ingratiate himself at that time, would have shared.


Antonia Gransden, Historical writing in England, Volume 2. Routledge, 1982.  ISBN 978-0-415-15125-2, pp.309-316

Jeremy Potter, Good King Richard?  An Account of Richard III and his Reputation.  Constable, London, 1994 (pbk).  ISBN 0 09 468840 0, p.88 (incl. quote from History of the Kings of England)

Tags: , , ,


Loyalty Binds Me on Amazon

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

We just heard that all the DVDs and CDs of Loyalty Binds Me are now available to buy through Amazon. (US):

Sandal Castle DVD
Sandal Castle Music CD
Middleham Castle DVD (UK):

Sandal Castle DVD
Sandal Castle Music CD
Middleham Castle DVD

For more information on the titles go to Loyalty Binds Me, you can of course still order directly from them as well.

Tags: , , ,


Sandal Castle on DVD

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

NewsWe just heard that Loyalty Binds Me announce the new double feature DVD Sandal Castle:  The Battle of Wakefield 1460 & Building Sandal’s Castle.

Loyalty Binds Me is a small, independent film production company based in the North-West of England.  They specialise in a unique style of DVD feature where by computer reconstruction they take us on a guided tour of both an existing castle site and  the castle as it may have been in its glory days.  You may have seen their previous DVD, the fascinating Middleham Castle: A Royal Residence.  This new DVD promises to be equally stunning.  It contains two parts:

The Battle of Wakefield 1460
A 30 minute feature exploring the castle’s place in history.
When Richard Duke of York perished at Sandal Castle, the House of York faced extinction. Did the Duke’s folly bring this disaster on their heads? What really happened at Wakefield?

Building Sandal’s Castles
A 45 minute feature exploring the history of the castle.
Take a journey through time, as we track Sandal Castle’s development from the Aisled Hall of the 12th century to the stone fortress of the 15th. See why King Richard III chose it as the headquarters for his government of the North.

Additional features include full chapter selections, English subtitles and a Slideshow Gallery of castle images.  Written and presented by John L Fox, featuring the voice talents of Robert Hardy and Richard Dodd, the Sandal Castle DVD is the second instalment in The Richard III Collection.

For more information and to order have a look at the website of Loyalty Binds Me.

Tags: , , , ,


Middleham Conservation Area to Be Extended

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

white-rose-smallThe Yorkshire Post of 4th September 2009 reports that the local council responsible for Middleham, Richmondshire District Council , is consulting the public on possible extensions to the conservation area at Middleham.

It’s heartening to notice that in the area where people knew him best Richard remains to be seen in a positive light as the first sentence of this article suggests:  “Middleham is famous for its association with Richard III, its castle and as the northern capital of the horse racing industry”.   To this day Middleham regards itself as “The Royal, Loyal and Ancient Township”, thus keeping Richard’s motto, Loyalty Binds Me, in mind.  

The proposed extension plans include an area to the north between the Busks and the River Ure, and an open area to the south east.  Council planners say that the northern area is important as there was the old road to Richmond via a ford (now bridge) across the River Ure.  It used to be  planted with an avenue of trees, mostly limes, which drew the eye to and from Middleham.

The south eastern area is of historical significance as there is archaeological evidence of many buildings, which are thought to have housed the stables for the Castle and might also have contained a water garden or ponds.  There is also evidence of a former hospital.

If you are interested, you can read the article by Brian Dooks in the Yorkshire Post here

Find out  more about Middleham and its castle here.