Conisborough Castle

Conisborough Castle is a large castle located near Doncaster and close to the great north road. Originally built in the 12th century it waa, by the 15th century, a large and formidable fortress. The castle avoided sieges in both the Wars of the Roses and English Civil War and is therefore reasonably intact.

Conisborough Castle and the House of York

Conisborough had been held from its foundation to 1347 by the Warenne family. Upon the death of John de Warnenne the castle reverted to the crown. King Edward III granted Conisborough to one of his sons, Edmund Langley, Duke of York.

The ownership of Conisborough Castle passed the the 2nd Duke of York. It was at Conisborough that the duke’s younger brother, Richard, later Earl of Cambridge, was born.

1415 had serious consequences for the House of York. Firstly, Richard of Conisborough Earl.of Cambridge was implicated in the Sourhampton Plot and executed for treason. That plot was discivered on the eve of Henry V’s invasion of Normandy. On that campaign, in the Battle of Agincourt, the 2nd Duke of York was slain.

Lordship of Conisborough Castle by Richard 3rd Duke of York

Conisborough Castle now passed to the duke’s heir, his nephew Richard. It remained home to the wife of the 2nd Duke, Maud [Clifford] until her death in 1446.

The Earl and Countess of Cambridge’s son, also named Richard, was granted livery of his inheritance and the title 3rd Duke of York when he came of age. This inheritance included ownership of Conisborough Castle.

Conisborough Castle under Edward IV

Upon the death of Richard 3rd Duke of York in the Battle of Wakefield the castle passed to his eldest son, Edward. Edward took up his fathers claim to the thtone and in March 1461 was declared King, an act consolidated by victory over the Lancastrians in the Battle of Towton.

Conisborough then became a crown holding. It fell into disrepair and was not utilised for military purposes on any notable scale during the Wars of the Roses.

Conisborough Castle Links

English Heritage – Conisborough Castle.

Conisborough Castle – the castles official website. Link to the history page.

Visit Doncaster – visitor information.

History the interesting bits – overview of the castles history, written by an experienced castle guide and history author.


Photo by Michael Garlick. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Via Wikmedia.

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