Skipsea Castle

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By kjfitz @ 2007-03-13 10:00:52
Skipsea Castle is a Norman Motte and Bailey castle located south of Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, England on the B1249 road at Skipsea Brough. All that remains visible today are the earthworks, having been destroyed by the order of Henry III of England

Skipsea Castle was built in and around 1086, in the years following the Norman Conquest by Drogo de la Bouerer, the First Earl of Holderness, in order to defend against Viking raids. He is related to William the Conqueror through marriage to William's cousin, and participated in the Norman Invasion of England. For this, William the Conqueror placed Drogo's name on the "immortal Roll of Honour of Battle Abbey at Senlac or Hasting", and rewarded Drogo with "so-called 'isle' of Holderness".

Although Drogo built the castle, he eventually fled back to Flanders because death of his wife whom he "unhappily killed". Drogo's hasty flight out of England has given rise to the legend that "Drogo murdered his wife by giving her a poison draught which he led her to believe was a love potion. He then rode a fast horse to the king's court, borrowed a large sum of money from William and took ship to the continent before news of his deeds could reach the court. The ghost of a 'lady in white' is said to haunt Castle Hill".

In the 13th century, William de Froz II, Lord of Holderness rebelled against the king. As a result, in 1221 William de Froz II was excommunicated and Skipsea Castle was destroyed. Eventually, William de Froz II reconciled with King Henry III in 1227. Skipsea Castle was returned to William de Froz II, but without any defences. According to local historians, "the gap in the earthwork known as the Scotch Gap is evidence of this".
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