Thursday, 10 September 2009

Skipton Castle.

0 Locks, 5 Miles, 8 Swing bridges.

Since leaving Liverpool I don’t think we have had one day without rain until today. This has restricted our comings and goings some what. Due to us having been down to Pennine Cruisers several days ago and returning to the same mooring we were actually facing the wrong way to proceed to Leeds. Today turned out to be the ideal day to do a 3 in 1 cruise (1) cruise to the closest winding hole to turn, (2) do some much needed washing and lastly to take Tracey for a cruise through this beautiful countryside.

Upon our return to Skipton we were very lucky to be able to moor in pretty much the same spot we left this morning which ensured us being able to get satellite TV reception, there is a full house here tonight the first time for some days.

Skipton Castle 016 Skipton Castle main entrance. DESORMAIS above the gate translates to HENCEFORTH.

Yesterday under some pretty black looking rain clouds we visited Skipton castle which is only one of two medieval castles in England still standing in it original form dating back to 1090. During the Civil War this castle withstood a 3 year siege and after the war Cromwell had the roof’s removed causing much damage. In 1655 the owner, Lady Anne Clifford, was allowed to return to the castle where she was instrumental in extensively restoring the building. The only restriction was that she was not allowed to build the roof’s strong enough to withstand the weight of cannon’s which had been the castles saving grace until the garrison surrendered in 1645.

Skipton Castle 022 Skipton Castle with private residence to the right.

In the central courtyard stands a Yew tree planted by Lady Anne in 1659 after the castle restoration was completed. This magnificent tree now has a girth in excess of 9 feet and looks in good health. The courtyard was named the Conduit Courtyard because it was the termination of spring water piped to the castle which Cromwell’s soldiers destroyed to try to force the garrison into submission, however a well was found within the grounds which was another reason the castle was able to hold out for 3 years in the Civil War.

More photos tomorrow after I have had a sleep.  We have been to the Red Lion tonight with Tracey to watch England qualify for the world cup by beating Croatia 5-1.

1810 locks, 3719 miles, 68 tunnels, 98 swing bridges and 53 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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