Medieval motte and bailey castle.
Belonged to Henry of Bollingbroke, Duke of Lancaster.
1066-1071 Built for John of Gaunt.
1071 William I granted the castle to Henry, Lord of Ferrers.
1086 Forty two men were recorded as being in the castle.
11th C Owned by Henry Ferrers.
1138 Robert Ferrers was created Lord of Derby.
1174 William Ferrers and his sons conspired against Henry II. The king besieged and took the castle.
1175 Demolished by Henry II, but rebuilt with a stone shell keep on the motte.
12th C Free standing chapel added.
1213-1214 New gateway costing £100 built by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster.
1263 Damaged by Prince Edward.
1265 After: Passed to the Earls of Lancaster.
1266 The castle went to Prince Edward, when Earl Robert joined the Baron’s Rebellion.
1267 Restored when Edward became Earl of Lancaster. Works included a large hall and range of buildings.
1275 Before: Belonged to the Ferrers family.
1322 10th March: Edward stayed at the castle.
1326 December: Edward II gave the castle to Henry of Lancaster.
1362 Repaired by the new owner, John of Gaunt.
1392 Work began on the wall.
1399-1406 New wall and tower built.
14th C Early: Rebuilt. Gatehouse added by John of Gaunt.
1400 Extensive rebuilding undertaken.
1420-1440 South curtain wall built.
1442 South tower was begun.
1446-1461 Given to Margaret of Anjou.
1450’s South Tower completed.
1460 North Tower completed.
15th C Towers added and the curtain wall built.
1523 Bad state of repair.
1516 Kitchen roof fell off.
1561 Repairs undertaken to Gillot Tower.
1568 Castle prepared to take Mary, Queen of Scots, as a prisoner.
1569 January: Mary, Queen of Scots was taken to Wingfield.
1569 4th February: The High Tower was a temporary prison for Mary, Queen of Scots.
1570 January: Mary, Queen of Scots returned to the castle.
1570 August: Mary, Queen of Scots moved to Wingfield.
1586 Mary, Queen of Scots, last visit to the castle.
1595 January: In bad repair.
1597 Estimate for repairs given at £200, but were not carried out.
16th C Until: Neglected.
1619 James I visited the castle.
1620 James I visited the castle.
1624 James I visited the castle.
1631-1635 Medieval range replaced.
1643 Unsuccessfully seiged by Parliament.
1645 May: Charles I and his army were at the castle.
1646 20th April: The castle surrendered after a three week siege.
1647 Orders by Parliament to destroy the castle were not fully carried out.
1647-1648 Slighted by Parliament. It was the last Royal stronghold in Staffordshire.
1662 Some parts of the castle repaired.
1760 Small folly built on the site of the keep.
1832 Plans to turn the castle into a prison were turned down.
1833 The Duchy of Lancaster spent £250 on repairs.
1847 Tickets were being sold to view the castle.
19th C Folly, Julius’s Tower, on motte.
1913 Works carried out.
1957 Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the castle.
1958 Field Investigation.
1975 Field Investigation.
1982 Elizabeth II visited the castle.
1992-1995 Surveyed and Measured.
1999 Garden and Herbery restoration began.
2001 Geophysical Survey