Compiled from the writings of the late Richard H. H. Holmes.
The tumbled masonry hereabouts includes an apartment known as King Richard’s
Chamber, and also the general stables; whilst clearly to be seen are the
footings and foundations of sundry other buildings, amongst them the
Bakehouse, with its two roofless old beehive ovens showing plain signs
of the fires which once burned within them leaving the stones
sufficiently heated to cook the viands which were set upon them when the
embers had been withdrawn.
With sections of the Norman wall to its north and a stout stone wall still
some 8ft high on the south side (all in the north west corner of the
Castle Yard), stood the Kitchen – naturally alongside the Bakehouse;
and adjoining this may have been the site of a hall, not yet excavated,
but probably the Chamber of Presence referred to by the visitors of
1634, and the Great Hall of the Castle in which in 1322 took place the
trial of Earl Thomas of Lancaster.
Mention should be made at this point of Swillington Tower, a detached building
due north of the centre of the Yard, the northern half of the remains of
which was cut away when the highway was laid out in the vicinity of its
present junction with Monkhill Station approach road. This tower was
46ft square with walls 10ft 6ins thick, and it must have been a place of
considerable importance to the Castle, with which it is believed to have
been connected by a walked stairway. Existing accounts, though
contradictory, may be reconciled by reading from them that the Tower was
built a little before 1322 by Earl Thomas of Lancaster and was very
largely developed half a century later by Sir Robert Swillington.