Description of Halton Castle
Halton Castle is a medieval citadel near a town of Halton,
Cheshire in England. It was constructed in the 11th century by Nigel of
Cotentin who constructed first motte and bailey castle here. Halton castle
is located at the top of the hill called Halton Hill, a sandstone
prominence from which the town can be seen. It is classified as
Grade I (Grade I) in the list of buildings in the United Kingdom and
qualified as a protected old building (planned monument). It was the
residence of the Barons of Halton from the XI century until the XIV,
when it passed to the Duchy of Lancaster, it was besieged twice
during the English Civil War, so its structure deteriorated.
In the 18th century, a new courthouse was built on the site of the
former guard house. Halton Castle is in ruins except for the
courthouse, which has been converted into a pub. The first floor is
used as an establishment and the basements are used as a pub cellar.
The walls of the castle are in ruinous condition but the
circumference is intact and it is possible to make a detour on the
outside. From its prominent position you can see sweeping views in
all directions, including Lancashire, Cheshire, the Pennines, the
hills of the Peak District National Park and the mountains of North
Although there is no evidence in this regard, it
is believed that Halton Hill was already inhabited in prehistoric
times. After the Norman conquest of England , Hugh d'Avranches ,
Earl of Chester , established the barony of Halton. The first baron
that is recorded is Nigel de Cotentin and it is almost certain that
it was he who built a wooden castle on the speck, although the
excavations carried out between 1986 and 1987 found no evidence of
any feudal speck or a tower or wooden palisade . Most likely, during
the 12th century the wooden structure was replaced by a castle made
with local sandstone although there is no documentary evidence of
these remains. The construction details are vague, but it has been
suggested that John of Gaunt, the 14th baron, made reforms in the
castle, but not on this has been confirmed by documentary evidence.
9 When the 15th baron, Henry Bolingbroke, ascended the throne as
Henry IV of England , the castle became part of the properties of
the Duchy of Lancaster .
The first documented tests on works
carried out in Halton Castle show that during the 15th and 16th
centuries , maintenance works were regularly carried out in the
castle. Between 1450 and 1457 a new door was built. There is no
evidence that the castle was involved in the Two Roses War , perhaps
due to its poorly known position. However, an inspection of the
Royal Palaces in 1609 suggests that at that time the castle was in
poor condition. During the Tudor periodThe castle became less used
as a fortress and more as a prison, administrative center and
courthouse. In 1580 - 81 , the castle was designated as a prison for
Catholics recusantes , but there is no evidence that it was ever
used for this purpose.
There is little
evidence of visits by relevant personalities to the castle, although
it is believed that in 1207 King John I of England visited the
castle and donated five pounds for the maintenance of the chapel. It
is certain that Edward II of England visited the castle and remained
there for three days in November 1323 , at which time he also
visited the Priory of Norton .
When the English
civil war broke out, the castle had a garrison of monarchists under
the command of Captain Walter Primrose, who had been appointed by
the Earl of Rivers . The castle was besieged by parliamentary forces
under Sir William Brereton in 1643 and the royalists finally
surrendered after a few weeks. Upon hearing of the arrival of
superior monarchist forces commanded by Ruperto del Rhine , the
parliamentarians left the castle, which passed again at the hands of
the monarchists at the orders of Colonel Fenwick.
there was a second siege but, after the monarchists had less luck
elsewhere, they decided to leave Halton and the castle was occupied
again by the parliamentarians under William Brereton. In 1646 , a
war council was held in Warrington , where it was decided that the
defenses of the castles of Halton and Beeston should be dismantled,
after which Halton Castle ceased to perform military functions.
Around 1650 the castle was in a "very dilapidated" state.
castle continued to deteriorate although the guard's house continued
to be used as a courthouse. In 1728 , George Cholmondeley , second
count of Cholmondeley leased the crown to the castle. In 1737 a
courthouse was built in the place occupied by the guardian's house
in the Middle Ages . Henry Sephton, an architect and builder from
Liverpool, and John Orme, Carpenter of Prescot, were appointed to do
the job . The courtroom was on the first floor, while the prisoners
remained in the basement About 1792 , the courthouse was in ruins
and funds were found for repair, although the origin of these funds
is unclear. The court continued to function on site until 1908 .
Around 1800 three crazy walls were added to the walls that were
in ruins in the eastern part of the castle so that the view from
Norton Priory was more impressive, where Sir Richard Brooke lived .
One of these walls was demolished about 1906 . During the Victorian
era, a sunken garden and two pictures of grass were built on the
castle grounds. In 1977 the castle was leased to the Halton Borough
Council, and the enclosure of the castle was excavated in 1986 - 87