Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Huddersfield Ring 2011 - Torksey Castle

Huddersfield Ring
Torksey Castle
3rd August 2011

As is my habit, if I find something of particular interest I pause my blog and give it a bit of focus. Today its the turn of Torksey Castle.

Remians of Torksey Castle

If you venture downstream from Torksey you may notice some ruins on the southern bank of the river, surprisingly close to the river itself. In summertime the view is obscured by foliage but its enough to encourage a closer inspection.

The interior - very unstable

Now the problem with Torksey Castle is its location. It is on private land and access is very difficult (actually its impossible if you are determined to be absolutely legal about these things). But by now you will appreciate my somewhat loose approach to the laws of trespass when exploring abandoned canals - get in quietly and fast, take photos fast and apologise profusely if and when caught.

Partially submerged beneath the flood barriers

The castle remains can be accessed from the main Gainsborough road, but you will have to follow some very indistinct tracks across some wasteland to get there.

We made the effort and were rewarded with some excellent views of this unusual and unstable structure. 

A little bit of history:

Torksey Castle isn't a castle at all. It looks castellated from the river but it was never more than a Tudor Hall, possibly built on the foundations of an earlier castle built to protect an important trading route. Yes, the river used to be busy. 

It was built in the 16th century but was owned by a family of Parlimentarians during the civil war and was burned out by the Royalists of Newark in 1645, and never rebuilt. The land around it changed hand over the years but the hall, built on boggy ground and very close to the flood plain was left to its own devices. 

Torksey Castle from the River Trent

The locals used it as a quarry for building materials till English Heritage stepped in and did some work in the 1990's, stabilising the remains and staving off complete collapse for a further few decades. Perhaps the amazing thing is that the gaunt remains have stood at their full height in this bleak location for 350 years. 

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is typical of Lincolshire landowners restricting access to historic monuments. Bayons Manor in Tealby built by Tennyson D'Eyncourt was dynamited by the local farmer because it was attracting too many visitors. Torksey Castle was partially buried by the drainage board when they built the flood bank through it!! Lincolnshire I am sorry to say is full of such Philistines!