On the edge of the tiny village of Castle Bolton this is a glorious building in a glorious setting, looking out across to the River Ure winding its way through the green fields of Wensleydale. Much of the castle is ruined, destroyed in the Civil War, but what remains offers an insight into castle life in the fourteenth century. What fired my imagination was the part it played in Tudor history. Mary Queen of Scots was held here for six months before she was transferred to Tutbury Castle. Her story is told by Philippa Gregory in her historical novel: The Other Queen. Looking at the rooms made available to her and her entourage brought it vividly to life. A prisoner who is also an anointed queen. The Scrope family had to pay for her to live in luxury and somehow restrict her movements whilst not harming a hair of her anointed head. It couldn't have been easy. Or cheap.
The current owners (descended from the Scrope family) have provided activities to entertain the more casual visitor, including a small maze, but for me this was all about Mary Queen of Scots.
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