The 3 Amigos visit Newcastle's castle
The boys have been asking for several days how Newcastle got its name, and whether there's a real castle here. So today I took them into the city centre to see the castle. The main photo shows them posing on a fence opposite the castle keep. The extra shows them exploring the doorway into the keep, on a flight of stone stairs; as you can see, Rowan and Kelso were a bit wary of entering but Trigger, being fearless, had a good look in.
This stone castle was built 1172 and 1177 by Henry II at a cost of £1,444, but in fact the name "Newcastle" comes from a previous wooden motte and bailey style castle on the same site, built by Robert Curthouse, the eldest son of William the Conqueror, almost 100 years earlier in 1080 (only 14 years after the Battle of Hastings). It's had to undergo a fair bit of repair work over the centuries but it still stands tall and proud near the river.
Some local "castles" would more-accurately be described as fortified stately homes, maybe occupied by barons. However this castle was a true fortress, a grim reminder of royal authority where armies gathered, and criminals were imprisoned and executed.
Needless to say the boys talked (all the way home on the Metro) of nothing other than the gory details of medieval castle life. I hope they don't have bad dreams tonight!
(Note: The castle walls, stairs and flagpole aren't really bent - I had to use my fisheye lens for these shots. I've done some correction of the verticals but didn't manage to get them perfect!)