Built to be impregnable, the ruins of Peveril Castle stand on a steep ridge with dramatic views in all directions, giving the visitor a glimpse into just what it was like for those who dwelt within the mighty fortress when it was first built on the orders of Henry II in the 12th-century.
Following the Norman Conquest, William Peveril became the King's agent for the Royal forest of the Peak, he is believed to have been the illegitimate son of William I. In 1080, Peveril created Castleton and added a wooden keep to the fortifications of the existing castle. This was later replaced with buildings of stone. A short while after conflict occurred between the King and Peveril's son, also called William, hence the castle and lands were confiscated by the Crown. It has belonged to the Crown or the Duchy of Lancaster ever since.
The King is thought to have visited Castleton several times, it is recorded he met with King Malcolm of Scotland at Peveril in 1157, when the Scottish King paid homage to the King of England. It would seem to have been in continuous use until Tudor times, when it was abandoned and both castle and site were left to become ruinous.
Once visitors have made the tedious uphill climb to the castle ruins they see well kept remains encompassing the foundations of a great hall, kitchens and other buildings, there is also an earlier curtain wall. The whole site is dominated by the keep which once rose to a height of 60 feet. The other dominant feature of the site is the stunning views of the village below and the spectacular surrounding countryside, this more than compensate for the steep upward climb to the castle's lofty perch.
The castle is in the care of English Heritage - it is open throughout the year with shorter opening hours during the winter months
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