Sources for Middleham Castle

The following lists provide a summary of the main sources for our knowledge and understanding of Middleham Castle.

Middleham Castle Engraving
Copy of an 18th-century engraving showing Middleham Castle from the south-east © Historic England Archive

Primary Sources: Unpublished

The National Archives, Kew

  •  survey of castles in northern England, 1538 (E 36/159, fols 63–8)

English Heritage Archaeology Store, Helmsley

  •  letter from Thomas Wood (5 Sept 1779) concerning the possible use of the castle as a location for French prisoners of war.

Primary Sources: Published

Atthill, W, Documents relating to the Foundation and Antiquities of the Collegiate Church of Middleham, in the County of York (London, 1847) [accessed 28 June 2016]

Everett Green, MA (ed), Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Interregnum, 1654, 1655, 1655–6 (London, 1880–82) [subscription required; accessed 28 June 2016]

Hardy, TD (ed), Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum in Turri Londiniensi Asservati, 1200–1227, vol 1 (London, 1833)

Raine, J, ‘The statutes ordained by Richard Duke of Gloucester for the College of Middleham, 1478’, Archaeological Journal, 14 (1857), 160–70 [accessed 28 June 2016]

Material Sources

English Heritage Archaeology Store, Helmsley

The archaeological archive from Middleham Castle and the objects recovered during the clearance of the site after its transfer to State care are held at the English Heritage Archaeology Store at Helmsley. Most of the collection consists of architectural stonework and ceramics, which includes a significant number of 14th- and 15th-century pottery fragments. There are also many smaller finds of communal and personal possessions, such as keys, jewellery, tobacco pipes and leatherwork as well as window and vessel glass.

The Yorkshire Museum

The Yorkshire Museum holds a large number of items discovered at Middleham Castle and the surrounding area, including:

  • the Middleham Jewel, 1475–99
  • medieval gold ring, engraved with 12 ‘S’s, the insignia of the Lancastrians
  • bronze plaque decorated with the initials ‘R’ and ‘A’ (Richard and Anne) (on loan from English Heritage).

Visual Sources

British Library

  • The Rous Roll, c.1483, includes images of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick; Anne Neville, wife of Richard III; Richard III; and Edward, Prince of Wales, the son of Richard III and Anne Neville (Add MS 48976, fols 57–64) [accessed 28 Jun 2016].

The British Museum

The British Museum holds many images of Middleham, including:

Gott Collection, The Hepworth, Wakefield

The Gott Collection contains numerous late 18th- and early 19th-century prints and drawings of Middleham Castle, including artists such as J Coney and N Dall.

Other visual sources include:

  • plan of the ‘roofscape’ of the castle, c.1600, The National Archives (MPF 1/19)
  • sketches of Middleham Castle by Francis Place, 1699–1717, Victoria and Albert Museum (E 1496–1931)
  • watercolour of Middleham Castle, artist unknown, c.1780–90, York Minster Library and Archive (M13/24a)
  • two watercolours of Middleham Castle by Paul Sandby, published in Grose, F, The Antiquities of England and Wales, new edn, vol 4 (London, 1785)
  • two plans of Middleham Castle by HD Pritchett, 1886 and 1929 annotated copy, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Leeds (MS 1108).

Plans and Drawings in the Historic England Archive

Items in the Historic England Archive at Swindon relating to Middleham Castle include:

  • engravings of Middleham Castle, 1773–1830 (EHC01/047/0020–23)
  • early photograph of the castle, 1870–1910 (OP07574)
  • plans, elevations and sections of Middleham Castle, 1891–1985 (MP/MIC0001–0052)
  • album containing photographs of Middleham Castle, postcards and a plan of the site, 1920–82 (AL0811)
  • photographs of Middleham Castle, 1950 (AA51/04308–20).

More details of these and many other items can be found in the online catalogue. Some material is not yet listed online, including the archive’s large collection of aerial photography; for a full search, please contact the enquiry service.

Copies of images and documents can be ordered through the website or by contacting the archive. For details of current charges for these services see the archive price list.

Secondary Sources: Published

Anon, ‘Proceedings in 1909: Middleham Castle’, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 20 (1909), 472–80

Brears, P, Cooking and Dining in Medieval England (Totnes, 2008)

Britton, J, The Architectural Antiquities of Great Britain, vol 4 (London, 1814) [accessed 28 June 2016]

Brown, RA, English Castles (London, 3rd edn, 1976) 

Cherry, J, The Middleham Jewel and Ring (York, 1994) 

Clark, GT, Mediaeval Military Architecture in England, vol 2 (London, 1884), 293–300 [accessed 28 June 2016]

Clark, GT, ‘The keep of Middleham Castle’, The Builder, 30 (1872), 284–5 

Colvin, HM (ed), The History of the King’s Works, vols 1–2: The Middle Ages (London, 1963) 

Creighton, OH, Designs upon the Land: Elite Landscapes of the Middle Ages (Woodbridge, 2009) 

Dennison, E (ed), Within the Pale: the Story of Sheriff Hutton Park (York, 2005) 

Emery, A, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales, 1300–1500, vol 1: Northern England (Cambridge, 1996) 

Goodall, J, Richmond Castle and Easby Abbey (English Heritage guidebook, London, 2016) [buy the guidebook]

Goodall, J, The English Castle 1066–1650 (New Haven and London, 2011) 

Grainge, W, The Castles and Abbeys of Yorkshire (York, 1855) [accessed 28 June 2016]

Greyfriars Research Team, The Bones of a King: Richard III Rediscovered (Chichester, 2015)

Hammond, PW and Sutton, AF, Richard III: The Road to Bosworth Field (London, 1985) 

Hicks, M, Warwick the Kingmaker (Oxford, 1998) 

Hislop, M, Castle Builders: Approaches to Castle Design and Construction in the Middle Ages (Barnsley, 2016)

Hislop, M, ‘Bolton Castle and the practice of architecture in the Middle Ages’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 149 (1996), 10–22 

Hislop, M, ‘John Lewyn of Durham: a north country mason of the 14th century’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 151 (1998), 170–89 

Hislop, M, John Lewyn of Durham: A Medieval Mason in Practice (Oxford, 2007) 

Illingworth, JL, Yorkshire’s Ruined Castles (London, 1938) 

Jones, D, The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses and the Rise of the Tudors (London, 2014) 

Kenyon, JR, Castles, Town Defences and Artillery Fortifications in the United Kingdom and Ireland: A Bibliography 1945–2006 (Donington, 2008) 

Kenyon, JR, ‘Castle studies and GT Clark, with particular reference to Wales and the Marches’, in GT Clark, Scholar Ironmaster in the Victorian Age, ed BL James (Cardiff, 1998), 83–102 

Kenyon, JR, Middleham Castle (English Heritage guidebook, London, 2015) [buy the guidebook]

King, DJC, Castellarium Anglicanum: An Index and Bibliography of the Castles in England, Wales and the Islands, 2 vols (Millwood, 1983) 

King, DJC and Alcock, L, ‘Ringworks of England and Wales’, Château Gaillard, 3 (1969), 90–127 

Manby, TG, Moorhouse, S and Ottaway, P (eds), The Archaeology of Yorkshire (Leeds, 2003) 

Moorhouse, S, ‘Anatomy of the Yorkshire Dales: decoding the medieval landscape’, in The Archaeology of Yorkshire, ed TG Manby, S Moorhouse and P Ottaway (Leeds, 2003), 318–19 

Moorhouse, S, ‘The medieval parks of Yorkshire: function, contents and chronology’, in The Medieval Park, ed R Liddiard (Macclesfield, 2007), 99–127 

Morley, BM, ‘Aspects of fourteenth-century castle design’, in Collectanea Historica: Essays in Memory of Stuart Rigold, ed A Detsicas (Maidstone, 1981), 109–11 

Ottaway, P, ‘The archaeology of the Roman period in the Yorkshire region: a rapid resource assessment’, in The Archaeology of Yorkshire, ed TG Manby, S Moorhouse and P Ottaway (Leeds, 2003), 125–49 

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004) [subscription required; accessed 28 June 2016]

  • Alan Rufus (d.1093)
  • Ralph Neville, 4th Lord Neville (c.1291–1367)
  • John Neville, 5th Baron Neville (c.1330–1388)
  • Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland (c.1364–1425)
  • Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury (1400–1460)
  • Richard Neville [‘the Kingmaker’], 16th Earl of Warwick and 6th Earl of Salisbury (1428–1471)
  • Richard III (1452–1485)
  • Anne, queen of England [née Anne Neville] (1456–1485)
  • Edward [Edward of Middleham], prince of Wales (1474x6–1484)
  • Samuel Cunliffe Lister, 1st Baron Masham (1815–1906).

Page, W (ed), A History of the County of York, vol 1: The North Riding (London, 1914), 251–7 [subscription required; accessed 5 March 2018]

Peers, CR, Middleham Castle (London, 1933; revised edns 1965 and 1984) 

Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire: The North Riding (Harmondsworth, 1966) 

Pollard, AJ, North-eastern England during the Wars of the Roses (Oxford, 1990) 

Pritchett, J, ‘The works of the Nevilles round Darlington’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 43 (1887), 227–9

Renn, DF, Norman Castles in Britain (London, 2nd edn, 1973) 

Richardson, S, ‘A room with a view? Looking outwards from late medieval Harewood’, Archaeological Journal, 167 (2010), 14–54 [subscription required; accessed 7 Dec 2016]

Ross, C, Richard III (London, 2nd edn, 1999)

Speight, H, Romantic Richmondshire (London, 1897), 285–97 [accessed 28 June 2016]

Taylor, C, ‘Medieval ornamental landscapes’, in Late Medieval Castles, ed R Liddiard (Martlesham, 2016), 375–92 [originally published in Landscapes, 1:1 (2000), 38–55; covers Middleham among other sites]

Toulmin Smith, L (ed), The Itinerary of John Leland in or about the Years 1535–1543, vol 4 (London, 1909) [accessed 28 June 2016]

Tudor-Craig, P, Richard III (London, 1973) [catalogue of the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, June–October 1973]

Turner, M, Yorkshire Castles (Otley, 2004)

Weaver, J, Middleham Castle, North Yorkshire (English Heritage guidebook, London, 1993)

Woolgar, CM, The Great Household in Late Medieval England (New Haven and London, 1999)

Young, CR, The Making of the Neville Family in England, 1166–1400 (Woodbridge, 1996)

Secondary Sources: Unpublished

Coles, GM, ‘The Lordship of Middleham, especially in Yorkist and Early Tudor Times’ (MA thesis, University of Liverpool, 1961)

Rakoczy, L, ‘Archaeology of Destruction: A Reinterpretation of Castle Slightings in the English Civil War’ (PhD thesis, University of York, 2007)

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