Conisborough Castle

August 1888

Epworth Bells, Crowle and Isle of Axholme Messenger – Saturday 18 August 1888

Conisborough Castle.

Conisborough, where this ancient fortress is situate, is about thirteen miles north-east of Sheffield, seven from Rotherham, two from Mexborough, and five from Doncaster.

The castle is on a wooded hill between the road and the river Don. There is no reliable record of its age ; it is said to have been built by Amelyn, Earl of Warrenne, who died in 1202. It remained in the hands of the Warrennes until the middle of the reign of Edward III., when it passed into the possession of Edmund of Langley, Duke of York. It now belongs to the Duke of Leeds.

The summit of the hill forms a plateau of about an acre, and is encircled by the outer wall. The entrance is from the south-west, between two walls, flanked by two round towers. At the north-west corner is the keep-tower, 85 feet high; the walls at the bottom ate 15 feet thick ; the tower is circular, with six enormous buttresses rising above the cylindrical tower like turrets, which give it the appearance of a hexagon. The interior is 22 feet in diameter, and looks like a huge pit shaft. The main entrance is 14 feet from the ground, by a flight of modern steps.

The keep consists of four storeys; the dungeon at the base is entered by a hole in the domed roof ; the floors of the other storeys are gone. The steps leading to them are inside the wall. On the third floor is the chapel described by Sir Walter Scott in Ivanhoe,” where Athelstane the Unready reappears to preside at his own funeral feast.

Outside the castle is a mound, which is said to be the grave of Hengist.