Saturday, 3 February 2018

Leicester Castle

On this day, 3rd February in 1399, John of Gaunt died in Leicester Castle.

Leicester Castle has a fascinating history but so has John of Gaunt. I could write pages about both but I shall limit myself to something a tad more snappy - five facts about John of Gaunt and five facts about Leicester Castle:

Five Facts about John of Gaunt

Part of a portrait from c.1593
probably modelled on his tomb effigy.
1.  Leicester Castle was his favourite residence and the place where he died.

2.  He was the son of Edward III, brother of the Black Prince, Uncle to Richard II and Father of Henry IV.

3.  Born in 1340, he was an attractive man and well known as a womaniser.

4.  He was not popular with the people and during the Peasants Revolt of 1381 they set fire to his London Savoy Palace residence.

5.  Just before his death his son, Henry Bolingbroke, was banished from the country and the trauma may have contributed to his death.

Five Facts about Leicester Castle

1.  It was first built as a motte and bailey castle in 1068.

2.  The Great Hall, built some time in the1100s, had an impressive timber-beamed structure and was used until recently as Leicester's Crown Court.

3.  England's Parliament met in the Great Hall in 1349, 1414 and 1425.

4.  Gun holes, punched into the castle's walls during the Civil War when Parliamentarian Leicester was under siege, can still be seen today.

5.  John of Gaunt's cellar, a popular feature of the castle, is most likely the remains of an old stone kitchen.

Entrance archway


  1. Hi Ros - our English history is so fascinating - thanks for these facts about John and his castle - or perhaps your castle ... cheers Hilary

    PS love the photo of you during one of your book signings ...

  2. Nifty facts to know and John looked like he was "hot" back in the day. No doubt the castle was a bonus to his "game". So much history and right in your backyard!

  3. I often spend time wandering (being a flaneuse) near to The Castle area. Sometimes I end up in Castle Gardens-especially in the summer. My favourite place is the old herb garden,which I find very peaceful-the entrance to which is near the entrance archway-sadly not often open. Thank you so much for the interesting facts. Petra.


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