Since the weather over the last few weeks has been particularly wet, when the sun came out on Saturday (12 May) we jumped at the chance to get out and enjoy the fresh air and warm sunshine. We threw Jemima’s bike in the back of the car and headed over to Pugney’s Country Park. The large expanse of water and quiet setting makes it a pleasant walk for grown ups and, with paths wide enough for people and bikes to share, its the perfect place set the kids free cycling.
Before you get even half way around there is a path that leads to the remains of Sandal Castle. Jemima wanted to go up and see it. So off we went. This is what we found.
It isn’t a huge castle, but it is somehow quite impressive. It was especially nice to see an artisits
impression of what it probably looked like back in the 13th Centrury. This offered a real image of what life would have been like, but more than that, you could actually feel that history; of real people, living real lives, traversing the paths as they went about their daily routines.
It also gave me that astounding perspective, not of how long a go this all took place, but of how far things have moved on. Imagine, just for a minute, lifting people from that time and transporting them to ours; a ruined castle, people in funny clothes, and a girl riding around on a shiny pink metal contraption with two wheels!
God forbid they should get sight of a motor car, me holding a small box to my ear and talking into it. Or the magical mechanical dragon that flew near by with what looked like rapidly rotating swords keeping it in the air!!
A bit of history:
When the stone castle was built during the 1200’s, it could withstand almost any attack. In my photo above, you can see the high earth mound (motte) with the foundations of the stone tower (keep) on top. When the castle was under attack, people retreated to the keep for protection.
To make Sandal Castle stronger another tower, called the barbican, was built. The foundations of the barbican, surrounded by a moat of its own, are in front. Attackers would have to cross the moat and drawbridge and through this extra tower to reach the keep.
The views from and around the castle are also pretty good. And that ice cream…in the slideshow below…it was only a meduim size one!