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Castles & Forts

Castles & Forts

Bolton Castle

Bolton Castle was the home of the Scrope family who rose to prominence under Richard II. Following that King’s overthrow, they had a turbulent relationship with the Lancastrian and early Tudor monarchs but by Queen Elizabeth’s reign were sufficiently trusted to act as gaoler for Mary, Queen of Scots.

Clifford Tower, York Castle

York Castle was a motte-and-bailey fortification raised shortly after the Norman Conquest and was augmented by a second structure, Baile Hill Castle, following William I’s ‘Harrying of the North’. Whilst the latter was abandoned in the early twelfth century, York Castle continued in use until the 1660s and its shell Keep, known as Clifford’s Tower, still dominates the skyline to
this day.

Helmsley Castle

Built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the River Rye, Helmsley Castle witnessed only one major military action in its history when Parliamentary forces placed it under a three month siege in order to starve out the Royalist garrison. After this the castle was slighted on the orders of Parliament.this day.

Knaresborough Castle

Having gained infamy as the refuge of the assassins of Thomas Beckett Archbishop of Canterbury, Knaresborough Castle was heavily modified throughout the medieval era to become a formidable Royal fortress. Besieged in the Civil War it withstood a six month siege before falling.

Middleham Castle

Originally built by junior members of the nobility, Middleham Castle was later transformed by the Nevill family who used it as one of their main residences. Richard, Duke of Gloucester – later Richard III – was brought up here under Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and ‘Kingmaker’.

Richmond Castle

Built in the late eleventh century, Richmond Castle was one of the first stone built fortifications raised by the Normans. Its garrison opposed the King in the First Barons’ Wars resulting in an attack by Royalist forces. After the fourteenth century the castle was allowed to decay but in 1854 the site was used as a base for the militia and later the Non-Combatant Corps.

Skipton Castle

Established in the wake of the Harrying of the North, Skipton Castle evolved into a substantial fortress. Further major upgrades were made in the early fourteenth century when the castle passed into the hands of the Clifford family who, apart from a short period during the Wars of the Roses, owned it for almost 350 years.