history and maps

Cottingham - name, size and location

Ancient and Roman Britain

Angles, Saxons and Vikings

Anglo Saxon Chronicle

Domesday Book

The Hundreds

Rockingham Forest

Rockingham Castle

landowners & copyholders

The Church, tithes and glebe

Kelly's Directories

Rockingham Castle

rockinghamcastlegatehouse.gif (19991 bytes)

Photographs, crest and text courtesy of www.rockinghamcastle.com

Rockingham Castle 1925.jpg (30372 bytes)


Cottingham nestles in the Welland Valley under the watchful eye of Rockingham Castle. Built in the 11th Century on the orders of William the Conquerer, Rockingham Castle was a stronghold for the Norman king, and an important seat of government, the Great Council of Rockingham being held there in 1095.

Many medieval Kings came to Rockingham Castle. Richard the Lionheart played host to his Scottish counterpart there and his unpopular brother John came frequently to hunt in Rockingham Forest. 

Little of the original Norman castle remains now, and the imposing gatehouse was built in Medieval times. There used to be a prison/dungeons at the castle, but this, along with the church and almshouse, was destroyed during the Civil War, circa 1645. Originally a Royalist stronghold, Rockingham Castle was taken by Cromwell's Roundheads and then besieged by the King's troops. 

In the 16th century, Henry VIII granted the Castle to Edward Watson, ancestor of the present owner James Saunders Watson, who converted the medieval fortress into a comfortable Tudor house. 

In 1618, the then owner, Sir Lewis Watson, diverted the road through Rockingham village to its present course up Rockingham Hill. The original road had for centuries passed close to the castle walls, with a back lane east of the village.

In Victorian times, Charles Dickens was a regular visitor to the castle, often performing in his own plays in the Long Gallery and drawing inspiration from Rockingham Castle for Chesney Wold in his novel Bleak House.






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