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13 November 2014

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You are in: North Yorkshire > Places > Places features > Field of change

The lodge and gateway in 1803 by Thomas Rowlandson

The Eure sister's lodge painted in 1803.

Field of change

The Romans, William the Conqueror, Robert the Bruce and squabbling sisters who shared the stone remains of their demolished mansion. The Castle Gardens site in Malton has had a varied history. Local historian, John Stone, tells its story.

It took almost seven years to complete, but on 16th of August 2008 Castle Park in Malton was officially opened by Phil Hardy from the BBC’s Time Team.

Funding was secured to improve the site, and for one day in June, BBC Radio York's Springwatch Action Team helped kick start the transformation by creating disabled access and two open air classrooms.

The Castle Gardens site

The Castle Gardens site

This five hectare green space, behind the Old Lodge Hotel on Old Maltongate, was cleared and woodland walks and picnic areas added, to make it a lively community space for the town.

But, this is no ordinary bit of transformed wasteland; it’s been walked upon for thousands of years. This piece of ground was the site of a Roman fort, two castles and two great houses!

The Romans arrived in 71 AD and built a fort called Derventio. They then went on to create York. They were on the castle site until about 429 AD.

Roman mosaic excavated at Castle Gardens in 1949

Roman mosaic excavated at Castle Gardens in 1949

The fort survived until the 1800s when the Burgesses of the town said the poor were getting a lot of food and clothing, but not giving anything back. So they made them level the fort and make it a gala field.

When William the Conqueror was King of England he divided the land up between his favourite courtiers and gave the Lordship of Malton to Gilbert De-Tyson. After that it went to Eustace Fitz-John, who gave the castle to David King of Scotland.

"He pulled it down and threw the stones into two heaps and that’s what the sisters got. "

John Stone

The King of Scotland placed a strong garrison in the castle, but in 1138 Archbishop Thurston of York lay siege to the town and the castle, burnt the town and captured the castle.

In 1322 another Scottish King, Robert the Bruce, occupied it, but when he left it fell into ruins for about two hundred years, until in 1569 Ralph Lord Eure built a house on the site. It then went through the Eure family, was rebuilt, and became the property of two sisters Margaret and Mary.

The Lodge at Castle Gardens

The sisters kept the Lodge

These two sisters disagreed on who was going to have the house, so to put matters right the High Sheriff of York, Henry Marwood, ordered the mansion to be demolished.

He pulled it down in 1674 and threw the stones into two heaps and that’s what the sisters got. What a way to settle an argument, but it proved they got equal shares! It’s thought a lot of the town is built from the demolished mansion’s stones.

Margaret and Mary moved up to the lodge, at the entrance to the mansion, which the Sheriff had left standing for them to live in. He told them, “you shouldn’t argue we will leave this as a monument for you.”

The lodge and the gateways still survive to this day at the entrance to the site. 

last updated: 10/09/2008 at 16:28
created: 02/06/2008

You are in: North Yorkshire > Places > Places features > Field of change

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