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Bristol.
The site now occupied by Castle Park seems to have had a chequered history. Bristol Castle was established, in the form of a simple motte and bailey affair, under William The Conqueror. By The Anarchy, which pitted the forces of Matilda and Stephen of Blois in a fight to fill the power vacuum left by King Henry I, the castle had become a formidable fortification. During the English Civil War the castle was occupied by Parliamentarian and Royalist troops and Oliver Cromwell decided Bristol Castle was a liability and it had to go. That’s why, if you go to Castle Park today, you only see the big clumps of wall Oliver Cromwell’s pioneers could not undermine. In homage to William The Conqueror’s original Bristol Castle, I’m assuming, a wooden castle commands a prominent position at the Lower Castle Street end of the park, complete with wooden men-at-arms. I was inspecting the fortifications in Castle Park at about 10 o’clock on a Monday morning in school term-time, so there were very few people about, but the play ground looks like a lot of fun.    

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