We asked you five questions about British castles. Here come the answers!
- In which English county is Leeds Castle?
You may have been tempted to say Yorkshire, but it’s actually Kent—the Leeds in question is a small village five miles south-east of Maidstone! Kent has more castles than any other English county, several of them with connections to Henry VIII’s wives; Leeds Castle was Katherine of Aragon’s residence for several years after he renovated it in 1519.
- Morris Castle, near Swansea, was originally built to house whom?
Workers. John Morris, born in 1745 and later ennobled as Sir John Morris, 1st Baronet, was the son of a copper and coal mining entrepreneur who had moved from Shropshire to Swansea in 1724. Morris had Morris Castle built in the late 1860s in the planned village of Morris Town (present-day Morriston in northern Swansea. The “castle” was actually a mansion-style building with an inner quadrangle and housed 40 workers (most of them colliers) and their families until it had to be abandoned in 1850 because of subsidence caused by nearby open-cast mining.
- What is Castle Huntly in Scotland now used as?
It’s Scotland’s only open prison. It came into government hands in 1946 and was initially refurbished as a borstal, then a young offenders’ institution. It’s about seven miles west of Dundee and was built on a rocky outcrop close to the Firth of Tay. It’s claimed to be haunted by the White Lady, a young woman dressed in white robes.
- Who was Wada, and what was his connection to castles in Yorkshire?
Wada (also Wade) was a mythological Norse king, supposedly of the Hälsingland district north of Stockholm in the sixth century. A 19th-century handbook for travellers in Yorkshire suggests that he built Mulgrave Castle near Whitby; a 16th-century writer records local legends that he was a giant who built several castles and roads in the county.
- Which (possibly) fictional character might you hope to see at Urquhart Castle in Scotland?
The Loch Ness Monster. Urquhart Castle’s on the western shore of the loch, about a third of the way down from Lochend at the north-eastern end and two-thirds of the way up from Fort Augustus at the south-western end. (Getting directions from Fort Augustus to Urquhart Castle on Google Maps throws up an unexpected extra result!)
How did you get on? Why not let us know?