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Sandal Castle

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary Wednesday, 23rd July 2008

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TRANSFERRING my Sandal Castle booklet to a new format gives me the chance to redraw the trail map in colour. I’m sticking to black and white for the drawings but, thanks to the slightly larger size, the map now fits on the back cover.


Ambling around the castle, I always wish that I could go back in time. It’s the humbler, domestic buildings that I’d like to explore. I would have liked to have tagged along with the inspectors in 1322 when a spot check of the castle’s contents recorded that the larder contained carcases of beef, sides of bacon, measures of salt and casks of herring (an estimated 3,018 herrings in total!).


And I’d have liked to have returned to see the castle in decline in 1566, when inspectors noted that timber was needed for repair work.


Somewhere in the castle, perhaps in the half-timbered Steward’s Lodgings near the gatehouse there must have been an archive of documents and accounts. They would have made fascinating reading.


Link: Willow Island Editions, where you can order the booklet - still only £2.95! - online.