Tuesday 20 November 2012

To the centre

On 26th January 1569 Mary was taken from Bolton Castle to be placed in the custody of George Talbot the Earl of Shrewsbury whose estates and houses were in the centre of the country. His principal stronghold was Tutbury Castle near Burton-upon-Trent. This castle was chosen as her next prison since, in south Derbyshire, she would be much further away from the Scottish border, further away from the northern pro-Catholic nobles, and yet still well out of the reach of a French rescue party.
After leaving Bolton Castle she was lodged overnight in Ripon, North Yorkshire, at the Thorpe Prebend House. This house was totally rebuilt in 1609 so we cannot now see the house as it was during Mary's visit.
Following this she lodged, en route, at Pontefract Castle, the principal castle of the north, which was mostly demolished by Parliament after the Civil War. She also stayed at Sheffield Castle, which was totally demolished after the Civil War. Then, moving south see lodged at Walton Hall, south of Chesterfield, on 1st February 1569. This house, which had been the home of the Foljambre family, was rebuilt at the beginning of the 1800s and again we cannot return to the house which Mary visited.
The next morning the party again moved south and stopped for the night, 2nd February 1569, at another of the Earl of Shrewsbury's houses - South Wingfield Manor.
This image made in the early 1800s gives us an idea of what Wingfield would have looked like in the sixteenth century. The Manor is now a ruin but one which these postings will return to, along with Sheffield Castle.
And so, on 3rd February 1569, Mary Stuart arrived at Tutbury Castle and was greeted by the Earl of Shrewsbury, who was to be her Warden for the next fifteen years.

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