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A Brief History…


Our history is one of political, military, religious and social turbulence, of plague and persecution, of renaissance, enlightenment and industrial revolution. It is a tale of romance, courage, loyalty and recklessness. There is no final chapter because we are still here, still enjoying the adventure.

Henry Ingilby collected taxes for Edward III and helped the king to finance the construction of Windsor Castle. His brother Thomas saved the king’s life and was knighted for his courage.

Sir William held high office and served Henry VIII, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I through some of their darkest days. Two of his sons toured the countryside inspiring rebellion: they were ‘the most dangerous papists in the North of England’. The Blessed Francis Ingilby paid the ultimate price: he was executed in 1586.

James I stayed at the castle in 1603. By 1605 the Ingilbys were plotting to kill him: nine of the eleven known conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot were close relations or associates of the Ingilby Family.

‘Trooper’ Jane Ingilby held Oliver Cromwell prisoner overnight in the castle’s library after the Battle of Marston Moor.

Sir John Ingilby rebuilt the castle but lost his wife. His son, a notable and colourful eccentric, rebuilt Ripley and endowed it with a huge Hotel de Ville.

In 2009 the Ingilby family celebrated 700 years at Ripley Castle. For any family to occupy the same house for 700 years is truly remarkable. All those letters, deeds and documents that tend to get lost, damaged or thrown away when you move from one house to another have survived, and give a unique record of the family’s history, their births, marriages and deaths, their trials and their tribulations, during the course of the last sevencenturies. It gives some indication how the family survived, despite plagues, civil wars, attempts at regicide, religious and political conspiracies, broken marriages, inept heirs and, yes, numerous periods of dire economic hardship!

If you want to learn much much more about the history of the family a new website has been produced, please visit

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