Peveril Castle, Castleton – Derbyshire
Peveril Castle stands in a prominent position overlooking the village of Castleton, with breathtaking views over the Peak District.
The castle bears the name of William Peveril, thought to have been an illegitimate son of William I. He was granted the title Bailiff of the Royal Manors of the Peak after the Norman Conquest of 1066. His castle played an important role in guarding the Forest Peak area, which was valuable for its lead, silver and hunting grounds.
Peveril’s son William became too independent for Henry II, who confiscated his estates in 1155. In 1372 the castle formed part of a settlement granted by Edward III to his son, John of Gaunt, in exchange for the Earldom of Richmond. From 1400 the castle ceased to be of strategic importance, although it was often used as a prison.
From the seventeenth century the castle had mostly fallen into disrepair. Only the keep was in use, as a courthouse. When this was abandoned the castle gradually deteriorated until the remains were restored in the nineteenth century.
Today Peveril Castle is under the custodianship of English Heritage and is open to visitors all year round. For further information and opening times see www.english-heritage.org.uk