Sandal Castle is a ruined medieval castle in Sandal Magna, a suburb of the city of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, overlooking the River Calder. It was the site of royal intrigue, the opening of one of William Shakespeare's plays, and was the source for a common children's nursery rhyme.
The Battle of WakefieldEdit
Early in 1460, during the Wars of the Roses, Richard Plantagenet made a bid for the throne. He was initially not well-received, but an Act of Accord made in October 1460 recognised him as heir to the throne and named him Protector of the Realm. In December Richard went to Sandal Castle, either to consolidate his position or to counter Lancastrian dissent. He had an army of 3,000-8,000 men but on December 30 in the Battle of Wakefield, he was outnumbered and outmaneuvered by Queen Margaret's army, coming from nearby Pontefract. Richard suffered a crushing defeat and both he and his younger son Edmund, Earl of Rutland were killed (although only two months later Richard's eldest son Edward became king).
The castle's last brush with royalty came in 1483 when Richard's eighth son (and twelfth child) Richard III chose it as a northern base and ordered some significant investments. This hope was short lived however as Richard was killed in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. After this the castle was maintained a little, but gradually declined, with the building of Wakefield Prison in the 1590s leaving it even less useful.
More information on the Wikipedia page