On 25th November 1215 John sent a writ to the justiciars saying "Send to us with all speed by day and night, forty of the fattest pigs of the sort least good for eating so that we may bring fire beneath the castle".
His men soon began to dig a mine beneath the south-east tower.
As they broke away the foundations of the tower they supported the structure with wooden props, the pigs were then slaughtered and their fat and other tinder was used to start a fire beneath the tower.
As the wooden props burned through a quarter of the building collapsed outward and John's men rushed forward into the gaping hole but the rebels fell back behind the dividing wall and defended their position.
Chroniclers tell us that a small number of the rebel garrison were allowed to leave the castle but on John's orders had their hands and feet lopped off as an example to the other
Winter was now setting in and the rebel barons had long since ran out of food so on 30th November they had no other option than to surrender.
A gallows was set up with the intention of hanging the whole garrison but one of his captains (Savari de Mauleon) persuaded John not to hang the rebels because the same fate would almost certainly await John and his men if they were ever captured.
In the event, John hanged only one man, a young bowman who had previously been in