Locked up in Lincoln Castle
In the nearly 1000 years since William the Conqueror built Lincoln Castle, I am not sure there have been many nights when it has been inhabited by only one person. The weight of history is on my shoulders because here tonight as I write this I am the only human being inside this wonderful space. I could do anything here tonight. Maybe if I was to block the main doors by parking the lorry up against the East gate and the trailer blocking the West I could keep off the invading bureaucrats tomorrow and throw juggling balls and flaming torches off the ramparts and keep them all at bay for a while.
In 1191 under the leadership of Lady Nicola de la Haye, (a woman after my own heart it seems) the castle withstood a 40-day siege by Richard I's chancellor, Longchamps, when he demanded the loyalty of supporters of the king's younger brother, Prince John.
Nicola, in her own right as constable, defended the castle again in 1217, during a civil war that followed King John’s refusal to honour Magna Carta in 1215. During the hostilities, rebel barons allied themselves with Prince Louis of France and seized control of swathes of England including the city of Lincoln. But the castle, a royalist stronghold, held out against the French forces and rebel barons under its formidable constable. This battle was of national significance and turned the tide of the French invasion. If the Royalists had lost, England could have come under French rule.
So not even the French managed to force an entry. And here tonight, with a little bit of judicious parking I could hold the hoards to ransom again. I would love to know what might happen. It’s very tempting… Can you imagine the headlines?
I would need a good cause. Maybe Rights for Transgender toilets (see previous blogs). No, it really needs to be something of more national significance. In the days after the American President had allied himself with us staying in Europe, perhaps I could offer my services to Vote Leave and keep off the French (and the rest) again in a one man rebellion that would change history yet again… and on St George’s Day too. Well St George’s Night really but you know what I mean. It’s a perfect time for an English rebellion against the European Dragon….
So here’s how it is. For the next eight hours I am open to offers. Phone me, email me, tweet me (@mralexander1234) with your best offer. I estimate it would take me half an hour to block off both main gates of the castle and then the only way in would be the ways that the hoards of the French army couldn’t in 1217. What a publicity coup.
Of course, Lincoln Castle was besieged for the final time in 1644, during the English Civil War, when the Royalists holding it were overwhelmed by a mightier Parliamentarian force.
I have this feeling that a fairly mighty parliamentary force would probably be parachuted in and overcome my one man, two fluffy white dog rebellion. But we could hide. There are loads of good hiding places in the castle…. and meantime....
I think this rather wonderful fantasy has gone far enough. It’s been a lovely two day St George’s Day event in Lincoln and being the only living soul in these historic walls for one night is reward quite enough. So I’ll hunker down, watch Penn and Teller and be away from the place at sparrow’s chirp in the morning.
All the best from a rampart near you,