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Home Ricardian Sites Fotheringhay

Fotheringhay Castle and the

Church of St Mary and All Saints

A visit to Fotheringhay (PDF download)

Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire

Fotheringhay is a small village that lies on the north bank of the River Nene, about 10 miles west of Peterborough.

Despite its present size, it was a place of importance in the 15th century and the castle was the favoured residence of Richard’s parents, Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and his Duchess, Cecily Neville, and it is noted in Richard III’s own hand within his Book of Hours that he was born here on 2nd October, 1452. Unfortunately only a small block of masonry remains of the castle itself, although the old earth mote can still be climbed to admire the view.  

The large and impressive parish church of Saint Mary and All Saints remains and it is very likely that Richard would have been baptised at the 15th century font that lies within. Although it was a large collegiate church at that time, a large part of the complex was demolished during the reformation in the 16th but the main church building is still extant and used to this day. It is an extremely large structure for what is now a small hamlet, and it holds the York Family Mausoleum. The tombs of Edward (2nd Duke of York) and Richard’s parents can be found on either side of the altar, although the external features are not the originals. Edmund, Earl of Rutland, Richard’s older brother is also laid to rest there, although the exact location of his body is unknown.

Also to be seen within the church is an original 15th Century pulpit commissioned by Edward IV, which is richly decorated and has carvings of the royal arms flanked by the devices of his living brothers at that time; the black bull of George, Duke of Clarence, and Richard’s white boar.

Other features to look out for are the fan vaulting on the ceiling bearing the Falcon and Fetterlock of the Yorks and the 20th Century Ricardian Memorial Window.

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Photo of the Castle Mound at Fotheringhay. Photo Credit K P Lewis

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