Bolingbroke Castle is a thirteenth century castle, complete with large gatehouse, round towers and moat.
Built by Randulph de Blundeville, Earl of Chester and Lincoln, the castle passed to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster through his marriage to Alice de Lacy in 1311.
In the mid fourteenth century the castle became the home of the powerful John of Gaunt, 2nd Duke of Lancaster, and his wife Blanche. Blanche died there of the plague in 1369 aged 24.
In 1366 it was the birthplace of John’s eldest son, Henry Bolingbroke, who became the first Duke of Lancaster to be King of England when he was crowned Henry IV. Henry never visited the castle again as monarch, but it continued to be used as an administrative centre for the Lancastrian dynasty.
In later centuries Bolingbroke gradually became a backwater. By Tudor times the auditors only visited the castle once a year to review the accounts.
The castle came to prominence again in the Civil War. It served as a Royalist garrison, to which a Parliamentarian force laid siege in 1643, eventually winning through. After the Civil War the castle was dismantled and deteriorated.
Today the castle is a ruin under the guardianship of Heritage Lincolnshire. It is open to visitors all year round and admission is free.
For further information and opening times see