Pickering, North Yorkshire, England
Pickering Castle is situated on the edge of the North York Moors in the town of Pickering, 15 miles from Scarborough in the north of England.
The ruins of Pickering Castle are in varying stages of decay although parts have been well restored and the motte and ditches are still very much in evidence.
The site is surrounded by an almost full height curtain wall with three square towers and the ‘Old Hall’, the oldest surviving building dating back to the 12th century. The chapel is the only building to have a roof; the foundations of the remaining buildings and a small section of wall from the shell keep are also visible.
The castle is open daily from 10am until 6pm from March until September.
There are a range of family friendly activities and books, as well as an exhibition on the castle’s chapel.
Pickering Castle was originally a Norman motte and bailey castle, built in 1069 by William the Conqueror it consisted of a central keep with outer wooden defenses which were replaced by stone in the following years.
In 1180 King Henry constructed a curtain wall around the inner bailey and continued to improve its defenses with the addition of a circular shell keep but it wasn’t until the beginning of the 14th century that the outer wooden defenses were changed for a stone outer bailey curtain wall.
By the 1530’s the castle had already started to fall into ruins and within the next century the only building that had a roof was the chapel. In 1926 the castle was in the hands of the state and today is under the care of English Heritage.
Other Castles in the Area
Helmsley Castle, North Yorkshire
Scarborough Castle, North Yorkshire