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Pictures of Helmsley Castle

a Castle in the town of Helmsley, in the county of North Yorkshire

About Helmsley Castle

This is a fascinating site where you can explore the 12th century ruins of a once great castle and spectacular earthworks cut from solid rock, perhaps the relics of an earlier fortification.

Helmsley Castle was built by Walter Espec, following his death in 1154 the castle passed to his brother-in-law Peter de Roos, whose family it remained with until 1688.

The atmospheric relic we see today is all that remains of the stone castle built by Robert de Roos some time after 1186 to replace the original timber castle. Over the years the castle was to be the subject of much alteration and rebuilding as it passed from one family member to another. It saw little in the way of conflict until the Civil War when in 1644 the parliamentarians laid siege. The castle held out for around three months, lack of food forced the final surrender and afterwards the building was partially blown up, with only the Tudor house converted from the west tower and hall in the 1560's, left intact. This survived until the 18th century when it was abandoned in the early part of the 1900's in favour of a new house in the adjacent Duncombe Park.

These magnificent ruins are now conserved, they form a splendid backdrop for Helmsley Walled Garden, a beautiful landscape originally laid out in 1758 to supply the Duncombe estate with flowers, fruit and vegetables. It was abandoned in the 1970's when it slowly returned to nature, and it was not until 1994 that a project was begun to bring the garden back to its former glory. It is now one of the most attractive garden settings in Yorkshire, with 52 species of Yorkshire apples, 34 Victorian vines, an extensive collection of clematis, and many rare species of plants, shrubs and flowers.

Helmsley Castle and Gardens are located in the historic market town of Helmsley, on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors in Rydale. There is a shop and audio tours are available.

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