Boarstall Tower



Description of Boarstall Tower

Boarstall Tower is a fortified manor that date back to 1312 when it was constructed by  John de Haudlo. It is located near Boarstall, Buckinghamshire. In the 17th century Boarstall Tower was greatly reconstructed, but it kept its medieval appearance. Boarstall Tower is a port building with 18th-century moat. During the English Civil War, Charles 1st used Boarstall Tower as a place for his garrison. It is surrounded by a garden facility operated by the National Trust that offers tours on Wednesday afternoons.


The name of Boarstall Tower comes from a local popular legend where King Edward the Confessor gave these lands to one of his men, named Neil, as a gratitude for slaying a wild boar that had infested the nearby Bernwood Forest. Hero built himself a mansion on this land and called it "Boar-stall" (Old English for 'Boar House') in memory of the slain beast. He also gave a horn from the dead beast, and the legend says that whoever shall possess the horn shall be the lord of the manor of Boarstall.



The manor turned into a fortified castle 1312 by adding defensive very large (for its time) gatehouse. The original house was dismantled in 1778 but the gatehouse survives in its original form. Boarstall Tower was transferred to the National Trust by the philanthropist Ernest Cook, founder of the Ernest Cook Trust. During the English Civil War medieval defenses were used by the troops of King Charles I who residedin the nearby village of Brill. When Brill fell in 1643, so did the garrison at Boarstall. However the residence at the Brill was demolished by the enemy fire, while Boarstall Tower survived the war. Parliamentary forces of John Hampden used it as a launching ground for the attack of the Royalist Oxford, 8 miles (13 km) away.


The next year of 1644 the Royalists soldiers of Colonel Henry Gage retook the fortress and used it as a citadel for local actions. Parliamentary forces of Sir Thomas Fairfax tried to capture Boarstall Tower, but failed. Sir Thomas Fairfax came back the following year in 1645 and managed to capture fortress on June 10 after a brief siege.