The ghost of Rochester castle, 1215-2013 (part I)

Tomorrow is siege day! A group of enthusiastic medievalists from King’s College (with reinforcements from all around London and even Oxford University) are chasing down the early history of the 1215 barons’ war all the way to Rochester. We plan to set camp outside the castle,  in expectation of a day-long siege. First stop, the cathedral, where God’s vengeance on the castle garrison must be called for.

The year is 1215 – king John is (mis)ruling England, the machine is overloaded and is spewing out the poisonous fumes of revolt. Under the leadership of barons from the north of England, a significant part of the English nobility goes to arms against the king, eager to uphold the law of the land, the newly sealed Magna Carta and, well, their own tenurial self-interest.

William d’Aubigny, lord of Belvoir, had captured the castle before the king entered the town on 13 October and set camp outside the castle walls. The siege is on.

“Rex denique Iohannes, cum Willelmum de Albeneio et eius socios Roffense municipium ingressi sunt, obsessis exeundi facultatem auferens ipsos obsidione vallavit.”

Rochester Castle last time I saw it, two years ago.
Rochester Castle last time I saw it, two years ago.

More to follow.

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