English Heritage has been asking its members for its top 10 castles. The list consists of: Dover, Kenilworth, Tintagel, Bolsover, Portchester, Warkworth, Dunstanburgh, Carisbrooke, Middleham and Beeston.
Many of these would be in my personal top 10 English Heritage castles especially Bolsover. But what would I want to include? Leaving aside the artillery forts like Pendennis and Tilbury, I would want to consider:
One of the most dramatic castles is Peveril standing above the Derbyshire village of Castleton famous for its Blue John mines.
Scarborough Castle has dramatic views over the bays on each side. It also contains a Roman signal station.
Brougham Castle lies on the site of a Roman fort on the Roman road that crossed the Pennines.
Farnham Castle dominates the town.
Castle Rising has a wonderful keep standing within earthworks.
Orford provides magnificent views over the Suffolk coast.
Hadleigh Castle provides dramatic views over the Thames estuary.
Helmsley Castle lies on the edge of the Yorkshire market town.
The 2016 list of Leaving Visitor Attractions in the UK has been published. The top English Heritage site continues to be Stonehenge (at no. 23) with 1,381,855 visitors, with a modest 1.1 % increase on 2015 figures.
The remaining English Heritage properties are (with overall ranking):
Dover Castle (no. 98): 333,289
Osborne House (no. 116): 265,011
Tintagel Castle (no. 125): 229,809
Audley End House and Gardens (no. 149): 165,799
Whitby Abbey (no. 151): 151,810
Clifford’s Tower (no. 154): 146,703
Battle Abbey (no. 160): 137,771
Kenwood (no. 161): 134,416
Carisbrooke Castle (no. 164): 127,012
Wrest Park (no. 166): 124,305
Kenilworth Castle (no. 169): 107,993
Housesteads Roman Fort (no. 172): 102,004
Eltham Palace and Gardens (no. 176): 94,635
Bolsover Castle (no. 179): 91,880
Walmer Castle and Gardens (no. 180): 91,752
Pendennis Castle (no. 191): 73,907
The major increase in visitors were seen at Osborne House, Tintagel Castle, Audley End House and Gardens, Battle Abbey, Carisbrooke Castle, Wrest Park, Walmer Castle and Gardens. There was a significant downturn in visitors for Kenwood.
A Roman altar is displayed in the porch of Haddon Hall, near Bakewell in Derbyshire (RIB 278). It is reported to have been found prior to 1695 (its first known mention in Camden’s Britannia) by the river in the grounds of the hall.
The altar is dedicated to Mars Braciaca by Q. Sittius Caecilianus, prefect of the First Aquitanian cohort.
The same unit is attested at Brough on Noe (Navio; near Castleton, Derbyshire) c. AD 158, during the reign of Antoninus Pius and the governorship of Iulius Verus (RIB 283). Prior to this (probably during the governorship of Sextus Iulius Severus, c. 130) the unit seems to have been located at Carrawburgh on the line of Hadrian’s Wall (RIB 1550).
Anthony Birley has suggested that the Sittii family could be from the area of Cirta in Africa, and that Caecilianus “may also be regarded as a Numidian”.