Sunday, 8 February 2015

Sandal Castle

Evening all.  It's been a while!  My excuse is that we haven't really done anything recently that I consider blog-worthy.  Life seems to be very repetitive; Small's schoolwork, a bit of geocaching and hospital appointments, so nothing I'd call particularly interesting.

Today was a little different.  We're still going out geocaching, and we're discovering plenty of places and interesting local history that we wouldn't have known were we not doing it.  We went to a local country park, one we go to quite regularly in the warmer weather to ride our bikes, to find a few caches.  We tend to go around the main circuit as it's easier to ride on.  The downside of that is we were previously unaware of a great many paths that criss-cross the park.

While out walking today we found a 'metal henge', a lovely garden memorial to a local councillor who apparently did a lot to ensure the former colliery site was restored into something everyone could enjoy.

Mini metal henge garden at Walton Colliery Park
We have also learned quite a bit of local history.  I knew my kings and queens from doing history at school, but I never really knew much about a lot of the local connections.  We made amends for that today with a visit to Sandal Castle.  I freely admit there was a geocaching connection to all this, and through solving a puzzle cache to do with mnemonics, we found the site where Richard, Duke of York was killed during the Battle of Wakefield in 1460.  A monument has been erected on the site, and it was nice to see some white roses placed there.

Monument to the death site of Richard, Duke of York, 30th December 1460
Happy little geocachers - Small and HMS
After we'd visited the monument, we went to the site of Sandal Castle itself.  There's not a great deal of it left, as it was devastated during the battle, and has fallen into rack and ruin since.

View towards Wakefield from Sandal Castle
Info board about the Battle of Wakefield
Part of the reason for our visit was to gather information from these boards to work out the coordinates for another geocache location.  The other part was to visit  local monument and learn some history in a fun and hands-on way.  Nothing better than learning history by actually being on location rather than reading it in a book or on the internet.  It also gave the kids the opportunity to run around and enjoy themselves.

Remains of the castle and moat

Small, sitting on some of the ruins
A view of Pugney's Country Park, with Emley Moor communications mast upper left

Above is a rather red-faced and upset, but proud, Small.  He doesn't like steps.  He doesn't like climbing up hills.  He doesn't like boards with gaps in them that you can see through.  It's as though with his foot problems, coupled with the sensory overload of processing the information required to do this kind of activity, it is too much for him.  It took an awfully long time to get him up to the remains of the keep, going one painful step at a time, with an awful lot of terrified crying and screaming.  But we got there.  He was very proud of his achievement at this point and we didn't have a pip of a paddy going back down again.

Keep well, keep warm.  Until next time. x


  1. Looks like a great hobby as you get to see some interesting things. Well done for making small go up the steps he'll thank you in the long run.

  2. My husband did the geocache thing for a while until he fell into some poison ivy...hahaa...
    Love the photos though!


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