Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England
Scarborough Castle perches 250 feet above sea level, high on the headland overlooking the seaside town of Scarborough.
The ruins of the castle are almost inaccessible as they are surrounded by rocky cliffs but to the west visitors enter the site through the barbican. Some of the remaining walls from the keep are still standing with the fireplaces on the first and second floors still visible. The foundations of a fore-building are also visible along with some of the battlements and a chapel.
The castle is open daily from 10am until 6pm April to September and until 4pm Thursday to Monday, October to March.
Visitors to the castle can climb the battlements to specially constructed viewing platforms giving panoramic views over the coastline and the town below, visit the castle's exhibition centre in Master Gunner's House; featuring artifacts from the castles history, or take an in depth audio tour to learn about the 3,000 years of history from the Bronze age until World War II
Master Gunners house is also where visitors will find the tearoom serving local produce or somewhere to buy something for a picnic in the grounds. There is also a shop selling souvenirs.
Scarborough Castle was founded in the 1130's by William le Gros and included a gate tower and chapel surrounded by a curtain wall and dry moat.
The castle was later confiscated by Henry II as he had not given permission for it to be constructed. He then strengthened the defenses, extended the curtain walls and replaced the gate tower with a three storey keep, King John added yet more curtain wall; which then had eleven half towers, and the Kings chambers, and Henry III added a twin towered barbican.
During the Civil War the castle was besieged twice and taken on seven different occasions with the Parliamentarians finally capturing it again after which the castle and keep were slighted to prevent further use.
During the 17th and 18th centuries the castle was used both as a prison and as a military barracks for up to 120 soldiers. During the First World War in 1914 the castle sustained further heavy damage when the area came under attack from the German Navy. In 1984 the castle came under the care of English Heritage who were responsible for its partial restoration.
Other Castles in the Area
Pickering Castle, North Yorkshire