Now only the earthworks and the conical motte remain of Fotheringhay Castle, standing above the peaceful River Nene.
Wandering among the ruins, with a little imagination you can delve into Fotheringhay’s chequered past. On a gloomy morning just over 400 years ago the scene was set for the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots in the Great Hall on 8 February 1587.
She was brought here to stand trial for treason because the castle was set in a marshy landscape where it was felt by the authorities that the condemned Scottish queen would be more securely imprisoned. After Mary's execution the castle was abandoned, with its stones reused to build an inn in Oundle and incorporated into the nearby Castle Farm.
Today you can climb the mound and admire this great example of a motte and bailey site. Look out for the remaining masonry wall where a commemorative plaque commemorates the death of Mary, Queen of Scots.