Fotheringhay: All that’s left #atozchallenge


Much as I would like to ticked off every one, there are plenty of castles I’ve never visited and there are some which have nothing left to visit.


Fotheringhay is one such empty space. Famed for its connections to Richard III, who was born there; his parents, buried in the church; and Mary Queen of Scots, executed in its hall, the history of Fotheringhay has much to offer a visitor. Except other than the motte (an artificial hill upon which would have stood the keep) and a bit of wall, there isn’t much to see.

Rumour has it Mary’s son, James I, razed it to the ground in retaliation. More likely, like so many castles post-Medieval period, it was a great source of building material.


Terence the stonemason made one last trip

to the ruin upon the hill

with hammer and axe

he hunted for stone

nobody looking

nobody cared

As he helped himself to whatever was there.

He chipped and dragged,

block after block, while from on high

rubble fell down, missing his crown

nobody looking

nobody cared

he filled his barrow with whatever was there

his missus had fretted

during dawn’s early chorus

You’ll bring us trouble

but Terence had rubbed his rough hands together

and told her it was fair

what once was majestic

was naught but theirs






  1. Fotheringay was one of the castles I included in my A-Z some years ago.


    1. I hope I’ve done it justice. Is your post still up?


  2. Interesting, and glad they keep all that lovely land as a monument.


    1. It’s part of our heritage, even if there’s not much to see. One day I hope to visit myself.


  3. I didn’t realise Fotheringay was gone 🙂 There’s not a lot left of it is there. I suspect no one wanted anything to do with it just in case James wanted revenge and, yes, it made great building material for other things 🙂
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)


    1. Sadly, it went completely and I suspect it wasn’t missed by the king,


  4. A shame more of the castle doesn’t exist.

    Alex’s Ninja Minion


    1. It’s a pity. It had an important part in our history.


  5. Lovely post! I think castles are so intriguing! I am putting this on my list to see!


    1. Not much to see, but the church is still standing and has royal connections.


    1. More than we probably know, given the early wooden versions and iron age hill forts.


  6. So sad. But at least, memory endures.

    The Old Shelter – Jazz Age Jazz


    1. It’s remembered by what little is left.


  7. Thank goodness that at least the site was preserved. Makes me want to go there with a shovel and dig around…(but I’m across the pond, and I wouldn’t want to be arrested either)


    1. Very tempting to dig awau, but yes, likely to get you in a spot of trouble!


  8. Nilanjana Bose · · Reply

    That’s happened to many monuments around the world, sadly. But the site would still have the ‘feel’ of its history to anyone looking for it.



    1. Having people visit keeps things remembered. So many sites destroyed, even in recent times.


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