The History Group spent an interesting day walking around the house, gardens and deer park of Raby Castle which is rightly regarded as one of the finest medieval castles in the country.
There has been a fortified building on the site since 1016 – 1035 when it was then the estate of King Canut when he ruled over Denmark, Norway and the North of England as the self styled “Emperor of the North”
The castle as we know it came into being in 1378 when Thomas Hatfield, Bishop of Durham gave licence to the Neville family “to fortify, embattle and crenellate all the towers, houses and walls of the manor of Raby”.
The Neville family fled Raby Castle in 1569 following the failed “Rising of the North”.
Queen Elizabeth 1st took possession of Raby Castle and the estates and it remained in the passion of the crown until 1626 when it was bought by Sir Henry Vane the Elder, an important member in the household of Charles the 1st.
The Vane family has remained at Raby Castle ever since.
Photographs from the visit can be found here: Gallery Page