Melbourne Castle was a medieval castle in Melbourne, Derbyshire. It was built on the site of an earlier royal manor house that had provided accommodation for noblemen hunting in a nearby royal park in the reign of King John. Construction of the castle was started in 1311 by Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, and continued until 1322, shortly before his execution.
About Melbourne Castle in brief
Melbourne Castle was a medieval castle in Melbourne, Derbyshire. It was built on the site of an earlier royal manor house that had provided accommodation for noblemen hunting in a nearby royal park in the reign of King John. Construction of the castle was started in 1311 by Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, and continued until 1322, shortly before his execution. From the early 14th century, Melbourne Castle was mainly in the possession of the Earls and Dukes of Lancaster or the crown. John I, Duke of Bourbon, was kept at Melbourne for 19 years after his capture at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The castle was considered as a possible prison for Mary, Queen of Scots, although events led to her incarceration elsewhere. All that remains of Melbourne Castle today is a section of wall about 15 m long and 4 m high and some foundations. The ruins are grade II listed and the site is a scheduled monument. There is no public access to the castle remains and the castle is now a Grade II listed building. All the appearance of the building is from contemporary drawings. Although some features seem fanciful to modern eyes, there are better preserved sites which share a similar style. Sandal Castle has a multi-angular tower like those in Sandal, and Tutbury’s motte and Pontefract’s curtain wall are also close in style. The area enclosed within the castle’s outer walls was about 2. 8 ha, but with outbuildings, other ancillary constructions and orchards, the total area has been estimated to be at least 8ha.
The walls were constructed with ashlar, and even without their former polished facings the walls were about 3 m thick. The Melbourne property was then demolished and used as a source for building materials. A bakehouse, kitchen and chapel are recorded as well as the great chamber and drawbridge, but details of the internal layout are unknown, but this is confirmed by which is still confirmed by the foundations at Melbourne. The site is now grade II-listed and the ruins are a scheduled monuments. The only access to Melbourne Castle remains is from the town of Melbourne, close to the River Trent, which may have originated as buildings associated with the royalManor to the south of the nearby settlement at Kings Newton. The manor of Melbourne and its lands were the property of King Edward the Confessor prior to the Norman Conquest. The property then passed into the hands of William I of England. After creating the Diocese of Carlisle in 1133, Henry I gave the manor for life to Æthelwold, the first bishop, Some time later, the diocese built a palace nearby on the sites of what is now Melbourne Hall. The estate returned to the crown on the bishop’s death in 1248, and Henry granted the land to his son, Edmund Crouchback, 1st Earl of Lancashire, in 1265.