Pickering Castle – Yorkshire

Pickering Castle is a well-preserved ruin dating back to the Norman Conquest.

An early motte and bailey castle, it was constructed for William the Conqueror in 1069-70 while he was in the north of England repressing uprisings against his rule. The castle proved popular with later kings, who used it as a base for hunting in the surrounding forest.

In 1267 it became part of the early estates which later formed the Duchy of Lancaster, when Henry III granted his younger son, Edmund, the Earldom of Lancaster, together with substantial land holdings including the manor, castle and forest of Pickering.

Surveys in the 1530s reported that the castle was falling into decay. By 1651 the chapel was the only building still with a roof.

Located in the centre of Pickering, the castle has many of its original walls and towers. Today it is under the guardianship of English Heritage and is open to visitors from April to October. For further information and opening times see www.english-heritage.org.uk