On 6th July 1933, an urn in Henry VII’s chapel in Westminster Abbey containing bones, possibly of the ‘Princes in The Tower’ was opened in the presence of the Dean of Westminster, Lord Moynihan, Sir Knapp-Fisher (Chapter clerk), Lawrence E Tanner, Professor W Wright, Mr Aymer Vallance, Mr W Bishop (clerk of the works), Mr G C Drake (dean’s verger) and four Abbey staff. The aim of the investigation was to determine whether the remains were those of Edward V and his younger brother, Richard of York, and shed light on the manner of (and possibly responsibility for) their deaths. Richard III, lord of Sandal, has, since their disappearance in late summer 1483, been implicated in their supposed deaths by many historians albeit other perpetrators have been named and no ‘smoking gun’ for any person has been found.
On 30th November 1933, a report was made by Lawrence E Tanner and Professor William Wright on bones, possibly of the murdered (?) ‘Princes in The Tower’, found in the Tower of London in 1674 under a staircase. Richard III, lord of Sandal, has, since their disappearance in late summer 1483, been implicated in their supposed deaths by many historians. The 1933 inconclusive investigation, without the benefit of modern DNA analysis, concluded: ‘..there is a reasonable probability that the traditional story of the murder, as told by (Sir Thomas) More is in its main outlines true….the elder child…probably died a violent death… (his age) somewhere between the ages of twelve and thirteen…there was nothing to suggest how the younger child met his death.’ Whenever, if ever, the bones are authenticated as being those of Edward V and his younger brother, Richard of York, the mystery of their disappearance and deaths still remains.
On 3rd July 1901, the ‘Wakefield Advertiser and Gazette’ reported that a garden party and sale of work took place at Sandal Castle in aid of the Wesleyan Chapel and Sunday Schools. Mr Isaac Briggs JP performed the opening ceremony.
On 5th April 1913, the Wakefield and West Riding Herald reported: ‘The sub-committee proceeded to Sandal Castle and, after inspection, decided to recommend that fencing be erected to protect the ruins.’
On 31st March 1951, the ‘Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer’ reported: ‘The Ministry of Works have (sic) told Wakefield City Council that they (sic) are not prepared at present to spend money on the remains of Sandal Castle, at one time an important West Riding stronghold, to preserve it as an ancient monument.’
On 17th December 1955, the ‘Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer’ reported: ‘Tenders are invited for the supply and erection of 500 yards of hardwood fencing to the grounds of Sandal Castle.’
On 28th June 1940, it was reported that a one-hundred-years-old cannon that had stood at Sandal castle for nearly thirty years was to be presented to Wakefield Corporation as part of the war’s scrap metal collection scheme. The cannon had been given to Mr Edwin Lodge Hirst when he was Mayor in 1912.
On 25th June 1901, Sir Lionel Milborne-Swinnerton-Pilkington, 11th Baronet of Chevet, owner of Sandal Castle and estates across Yorkshire and Staffordshire covering 8000 acres, died at Chevet Park.
On 2nd June 1911, Sir Thomas Edward Milborne-Swinnerton-Pilkington, 12th Baronet of Chevet, proposed to Wakefield Corporation that it lease Sandal Castle as a public recreation ground. The site was leased the following year and bought by the council in 1954.