“Bowser” Revealed

January 22, 2014 | 0 Comments | Filed under: 2014, February 2014

Ian Morgan took Tideswell History Club on a virtual tour of Bolsover at our January meeting and told us much of its great historical importance. Because the town has Norman origins and a magnificently sited castle, the streets are laid out in a grid pattern very similar to the streets in Castleton. Some of the little lanes connecting these streets are known as “Becks” and one of these rejoices in the insanitary sounding name of “Cockpiddle Beck”. There had been a siege of the castle in the Middle Ages and in common with Castleton and Tideswell it had received a visit from no less a person than the “Hammer of the Scots” Edward the First. Sadly the castle keep and surrounding buildings were subject to “modernisation” in the Jacobean era of the 17th century, so much of the Norman ruggedness has been swept away.

King Charles the First visited the castle in the 1630’s and the owner William Cavendish supported his cause in the ensuing Civil War. However, when William departed from the field of battle at Marston Moor having lost 3000 of his men he fell out of favour with the Royalists. Much later and after the collapse of Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth, William tried to win favour with Charles the Second by re-vamping the castle and laying on a sumptuous welcome but he was snubbed by a Royal non-appearance.

Ian also told a very interesting story of when Richard Arkwright the Second (the “richest commoner in England”) wanted to buy Sutton Scarsdale hall nearby – to clinch the deal he produced a £10,000 note! Only three £10,000 notes had been created and he possessed all three. Because of the huge success of his father’s cotton empire he was the Bill Gates of his time, even lending money to finance the gambling debts of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.

This talk made an excellent start to 2014 for us and we hope to follow that up on February 13th when Robbie Carnegie tells us about the History of Buxton Opera House at 8pm in the Institute. All welcome.

 

Brian Woodall

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