Danby Rigg, flanked by Little Fryup Dale and Danby Dale

The sunshine made a refreshing change from the low cloud and mizzle of the last few days. This is taken on the descent from Danby Beacon looking due south.

Just left of centre is Danby Castle, a partially ruined 14th-century pile built by the Latimer family, now part of a working farm with Court Leet Rooms which can be hired as a wedding venue. Here is a close up with the long lens:

Danby Castle
Danby Castle

Danby Castle’s most famous claim to fame is that it was the marital home of Katharine Parr when she married the 3rd Baron Latimer, John Neville, in the summer of 15341Yorkshireguides.com. (2021). Danby Castle and its History. [online] Available at: http://www.yorkshireguides.com/danby_castle.html [Accessed 28 Aug. 2021].. Katharine was, as every school child knows, Henry VIII’s sixth wife, and outlived him.

There is a tradition that Katherine, after Neville’s death, lived at Danby during her courtship with Henry VIII2Historicengland.org.uk. (2012). Danby Castle: a quadrangular castle, Danby – 1008382 | Historic England. [online] Available at: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1008382 [Accessed 28 Aug. 2021].. And the story is further elaborated in that Henry, on his way to woe Katherine, took refuge from a storm in a house half way up Danby Dale. The house was later renamed Stormy Hall in honour of this royal visitor3Hudson, Martyn. “on blackamoor”. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-9164257-9-8 2020.

These are somewhat stretches of the imagination.

Henry married Katherine on 12 July 1543. John Neville had died four months earlier after a winter of ill health, and Katherine, now a widow of some means, spent significant time at Snape Castle4Castlesfortsbattles.co.uk. (2016). Snape Castle | Yorkshire | Castles, Forts and Battles. [online] Available at: http://www.castlesfortsbattles.co.uk/yorkshire/snape_castle.html [Accessed 28 Aug. 2021].. Katherine had come to the attention of the King when she was made part of the household of Henry’s daughter, Mary in February 15435Wikipedia Contributors (2021). Catherine Parr. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Parr#Lady_Latimer_(1534%E2%80%931543) [Accessed 28 Aug. 2021].. So it all seems very unlikely she had much chance to visit Danby during 1542/3 let alone arrange an assignation with the King.

In any case, Stormy Hall is more likely named after the De Sturmey family6Hudson, Martyn. “on blackamoor”. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-9164257-9-8 2020.

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