Conisbrough & Denaby Main
Heritage Group
  
From 'Old Photographs of Conisbrough' by
June and Tony Greathead and used here
with permission of June Greathead
 
Conisbrough Castle
 
The Manor of Conisbrough which had belonged to Harold, the last Saxon King was given by William the Conqueror to one of his chief supporters, William de Warrenne, later Earl of Surrey.  He built the first castle here of earth and timber possibly around 1100.  Soon after 1160 the Castle was acquired by Hameline Plantagenet , a brother of Henry II.  Between 1180 and 1190 the Keep was built.  Either Hameline or his son William who succeeded him in 1201, constructed the main circuit of walls replacing the wooden palisades with stone.  During the course of the thirteenth century the inner ward was laid out with the ranges of buildings being laid out, the remains of which can still be seen.  Later additions to the Castle were slight and it continued to be the principal stronghold of the Earls of Surrey.  The direct line of descent, via male heir, died out in 1347 and the Castle then passed into the hands of Edmund de Langley the son of Edward III, who was created Duke of York.  It remained in the ownership of their family until one of his descendants, Edward IV became King of England in 1461.  From that date the Castle belonged to the Crown.  A survey carried out in 1538, however, recorded that already part of the curtain walls including the main gate had collapsed rendering the Castle militarily useless.  Fortunately therefore it played no significant role in the Civil Wars of the seventeenth century and unlike many others escaped deliberate destruction. 
 
The first real attempt to make the monument into a tourist attraction occurred in June 1989 when the Visitors Centre was opened by the locally based Ivanhoe Trust.  
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CONISBROUGH STOCKS now stand in Coronation Park and have been there since the early part of the last century (20th).                                                                                                        
According to Allports History of Conisbrough the stocks were originally positioned on High Street, outside the Churchyard but were removed around 1848 and ended up being used as a pair of gate posts.  The two magnesium limestone posts were recovered and placed where we see them today.