Skipton, North Yorkshire, England
Skipton Castle is situated in the town centre of Skipton, 18 miles north west of Bradford in the north of England.
Skipton Castle is a well preserved medieval castle surrounded by an outer curtain wall. The entrance to the site is through a gatehouse flanked by two stout drum towers, the east tower containing a 17th century shell grotto. The main building, built over two storey’s, consists of six drum towers, domestic buildings on the northern side, the ruins of a chapel and a Tudor style courtyard.
The castle is open daily from 10am until 6pm; from midday on Sundays, March until September and until 4pm October to February. Included in the admission cost is a tour sheet giving pictures and information on the castle’s most interesting features.
The shop specializes in historical books relating to the castle as well as cards, prints, gifts and light refreshments. The Clifford Tea rooms offer specialty tea and coffee and homemade items, and for those who prefer to picnic in the grounds the secluded picnic area has views over the town.
The first motte and bailey castle on the site was built by Robert de Romille in 1090 but it was soon replaced with a stronger stone keep to help protect against the attacks of the Scots.
Edward II granted Skipton Castle to Lord Clifford who set about making many improvements including adding four huge drum towers in the inner bailey and creating a curtain wall with gatehouse and bastions.
During the Civil War in December 1645, the castle was finally surrendered following a three year siege, after which Oliver Cromwell ordered the castle’s roofs be removed.
The castle remained the Clifford family until the death of Lady Anne Clifford. She was responsible for ordering the repairs after the siege and also planting the yew tree which still stands in the central courtyard today.
Other Castles in the Area
Barden Tower, North Yorkshire