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Pictures of Skipton Castle

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

About Skipton Castle

Apart from it's historic church, Skipton Castle is the town's premier attraction. This is located where the High Street fans out at the top.

The first castle to be built in Skipton was put up by Robert de Romille, but only one gateway of this remains. The castle that we see today is mostly from the time the Clifford family took possession of it in the 14th century. Lady Anne Clifford was the last of the Clifford's to own the castle, at the time she inherited it, the castle had been partially demolished and she had it completely reconstructed, with additions. One of her additions was the balustrade over the gatehouse incorporating the Clifford family motto "Desormais" meaning "Henceforth".

Today, the massive twin towers of Skipton Castle dominate the town just as they have done for over nine hundred years. This is without doubt one of the finest medieval castles remaining in the land. It is a place where visitors can revel in an enchanting Tudor courtyard and marvel at the magnificent gatehouse, both of which give little clue to the splendour yet to come.

The castle lay-out is breathtakingly beautiful, set as it is around green lawns it is easy to give let your mind drift back to the days when bold knights would have rode on horse-back over the moat to pass under the great portcullis, before reaching the main doors and the inner courtyard of the castle. The grooves of the portcullis and the opening for the drawbar of Skipton Castle entrance door can still be seen. Also to be seen are mason's marks in the stonework of the main entrance and the Conduit Court. Marking stone is an ancient tradition. Stone-mason's throughout the ages have marked any stone they dressed to ensure the receipt of proper payment for their work. It is also through this method that we have been able to identify the most remarkable stone-mason's of medieval times.

The Banqueting Hall is the place where our bold knight would have dined with his fair lady in company with numerous guests. In medieval days feasting was a major social activity, tables were heavily laden with every conceivable delicacy for a feast which would last for several hours. Such an event would usually be followed by a jollification, jesters, musicians or dancing.

Every part of Skipton Castle is open for public view from the lowly kitchen with its adjacent outside privy to the mighty towers and the superb Banqueting Hall and romantic Bedchamber. You can explore daunting Dungeons below ground and then climb to the top of the Watch Tower to enjoy magnificent views of the town. While here you will quickly realise the strength of the castle and how it was that this was one of the few places to withstand a three year siege during the Civil War.

Skipton Castle offers an exciting experience for everyone; visitors can picnic within the castle grounds or enjoy a snack in the tea-room. There is a shop for souvenirs and information - each visitor is provided with a comprehensive information sheet, and friendly guides are willing to answer any questions you may have.

Skipton is the gateway to the Dales - after visiting the castle why not take time out to enjoy a walk around what is a very pleasant country town?

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