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Snape Castle

Snape Castle is situated in the large village of Snape in North Yorkshire. The castle started to be built in 1426 (then called Snape Hall), but the battlements and the 4 corner towers (only the front 2 of these now survive) were added at the end of the 16th century.

The site is was built on was very boggy, so oak piles that were almost 3 feet in length were driven into the ground to make firm foundations

In 1532 John Neville (the 3rd Lord Latimer) married his third wife, Catherine Parr and they lived at Snape Castle for many years. In 1536 during the Pilgrimage of Grace (the Roman Catholic revolt against King Henry VIII's suppression of the monasteries) the castle was occupied by Roman Catholic rebels. In 1542 John Neville died and the next year Catherine Parr married King Henry VIII.

The 4th Lord Latimer (almost called John Neville) then took over ownership. Upon his death in 1577, his daughter Dorothy and her husband Thomas Cecil were left the castle. They made many changes including restoring Snape Hall and turned it into a "sham castle" with pretend battlements and a romantic Gothic exterior.

Thomas Cecil never much liked Snape and called it "this base place where I live". He felt it was too far away from the action in the south and would have preferred to move away. He died in 1623 and Snape Hall lay dormant for over 60 years

In 1688 John Cecil, the 5th Earl of Exeter, along with his 2 sons made an effect to make the building habitable again. When all three of them had died the castle reverted back to the new Earl of Exeter, but they never lived here again.

In the early 19th century the building was split into two residences but the two halves were reunited in 2003.

     

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