Additional Information

TICKHILL  discover its past

The views expressed below are those of the contributors to the website and are not necessarily endorsed by Tickhill & District Local History Society

The role of  the Earl of Manchester in the taking of Tickhill Castle:

The following information elaborates upon page 23 of the book. Tom Beastall writes ‘Manchester entered the Castle with an escort of 20 men'. In her book, The King's War, Professor Veronica Wedgwood states that the Castle was taken by John Lilburne and Henry Ireton ‘and for their services [they] were roundly abused by Manchester in front of many witnesses’.

Ponies Grazing in Castle Grounds and Tea for Three - Memories of Brenda Lightburn, daughter of Harvey Thorp.


           In the mid 1970s Gerald Gentry who was living in Tickhill castle at the time, came round to my father’s  workshops on Dam Road, to have his ride on lawn mower repaired. This was a regular occurrence and the job had to be done pretty quickly as there was a substantial amount of lawn to cut each week. Harvey said (maybe partly in jest), ‘If you want your grass keeping short at no cost to yourself and free manure delivered on site we can offer you a solution; you could have our ponies grazing in the grounds. We had used the castle paddock (behind the Millstone pub) for years and still continued to do so, so it was just a short trip back and forth into the castle.   Gerald thought it was an excellent idea and his wife Muriel, who was an animal lover was quite thrilled to have them there. So a few years of our using the castle grounds began. Gerald and Muriel left the castle after a couple of years of us having the ponies there and the Duchy of Lancaster’s agent asked my father if he’d keep an eye on the place until it was re-rented out or a decision had been made for its future.  We regularly showed people round the castle and I spent many happy hours exploring the house. A lot of the upstairs was quite dangerous; literally holes in floors and crumbling walls but the atmosphere of the place more than made up for any risk I felt I was taking. Eventually one of the agents said they’d prefer to have the grass cut by mower so the mower was put back in action and usually cut by one of the men Harvey employed.


             I missed my time in the castle and have happy memories of the place. My very first car was bought from Muriel (Morris 1000) for £30, and she told me it was called Chubby and would I keep the name so it wouldn’t be upset.  I was often invited in for tea by Muriel when I’d finished collecting the ponies and the first time was certainly memorable. One of the rooms held what seemed to me an enormous table which had three ‘normal’ place settings and then at one end was a rather unusual mat and bowl.  When it was time for us to eat, Muriel said, ‘ I’ll just get my baby’, which I thought a little strange as she was the wrong side of 40 to have a baby, and in she walked with the Siamese cat which ate with us, sitting on the table cloth. When it had finished eating it walked over to my end of the table and curled up to sleep about six inches from my plate.  As we were eating, large chunks of plaster fell off the walls which was not even commented on and so I thought it must be a regular event as it didn’t even make the cat open its eyes. I was asked if I wanted to see their rook’s nest and as I’d never seen one I agreed and assumed we’d be heading for the door.......but I was wrong. I followed them upstairs through what seemed to be a labyrinth of rooms, till we came to an old wooden staircase and there on the stairs was the nest. I still have the photo today.  Happy days!