Re: [bowesgenealogy] More to Question About William de Arcubus, 500 Archers and Bowes Castle
Martha, indeed another question which strains any credibility regarding the de Arcubus story. Recall too that Burke's account is based upon a supposed, and conveniently unamed manuscript, that was we are informed held by St.Mary's monastery in York. Unfortunately that Abbey as totally destroyed during the Reformation, thus making it somewhat difficult to verify Burke's account.
--- On Fri, 9/1/09, mhbowes11 <martha.bowes@...> wrote:
From: mhbowes11 <martha.bowes@...>
Subject: [bowesgenealogy] More to Question About William de Arcubus, 500 Archers and Bowes Castle
Date: Friday, 9 January, 2009, 3:11 AMCould they all FIT in this castle (see photos at source at bottom of message)? It would be
interesting to know the dimensions. Note especially the part (in last quote below) that it
was more a garrison post than a residential castle ... yet Burke's "A Genealogical and
Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland" states that Alan Niger who
built the castle "placed therein, William, his relation, with five hundred archers to defend it
against some insurgents ..." But I guess garrison posts need staff too. One thing I don't
understand is ... if William de Arcubus is false, where is the real story about who manned
this garrison? Granted, maybe we just don't know. The text continues "...from whence both
the castle and its commander derived their names, the former being called Bowe castle..."
At the same site sourced below, under Richmond Castle in the same area, I find:
"In 1069, rebels slaughtered the new Norman garrison at York. In reprisal, William I 'the
Conqueror' laid waste to all the countryside form York to the Wear. Once the local
opposition had been crushed through this 'Harrying of the North', William I divided out the
land between his Norman lords. Alan the Red was one of these men and he was given the
Borough of Richmond as a reward for his good service to William I."
This is the first context I've seen for the claim: "here was a town [Bowes] which, the
tradition of the inhabitants states, was burned. It then belonged to the earls of Brittany
and Richmond... the castle was built ... by Alan Niger..."
Still kicking the tires.
Started by Conan the Little, Earl of Richmond, and finished by Richard the Engineer for
Henry II between 1171 - 87, Bowes Castle is sited within the remains of the Roman fort
Lavatrae. It's purpose, similar to that of the Roman fort, was to guard the approaches to
the Stainmore pass, a highly strategic border area with Scotland.
The entrance to the keep is on the first floor, originally entered through a forebuilding, of
which only the footings are visible. The keep had three levels, the main hall originally sited
on the first floor. Bowes was more a garrison post than a residential castle for it was a
solitary keep that stood without the protection of curtain walls. A rectangular ditch
enclosure was its only outer defence. The ruins of the Roman fort supplied some of the
building material and it was raised for a cost of about £600."
From http://www.dales- castles.org. uk/bowes. htm#