Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Fotheringhay, Birth Place of Richard III

Main Street, Fotheringhay
© Copyright Ian Yarham
Fotheringhay is a sleepy, picturesque little village in Northamptonshire, with a population of less than 200. Hard to believe then that it was not only the birth place of Richard III  (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485), but also where Mary, Queen of Scots (8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587) was tried and beheaded.

The reason for the village's illustrious past is Fotheringhay Castle, which stood near the River Nene just outside the village and was at one time the home of the Dukes of York. With Richard III's death on Bosworth Field, the York line of kings came to an end and shortly after Mary's execution (in the castle's Great Hall), the castle began to fall into disrepair. It was eventually pulled down in 1627 and all that remains today is the motte (raised earthwork) on which it was built and a small piece of masonry. The site is freely accessible to the public.
Fotheringhay church and castle mound
© Copyright Martin Richardson

Richard III's birthday is commemorated annually by the Richard III Society by the placing of white roses in the parish church - St Mary's & All Saints - which dates back to the fifteenth century.

The Nene Way long distance footpath runs through the village.

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