Skipton Castle | Well Preserved Yorkshire Castle

There are some incredible castles across England, each with its own story to tell, and Skipton Castle in Yorkshire is certainly one of these.

Based in Skipton, this is a medieval Grade I listed Yorkshire castle built by Robert de Romille, a Norman baron, in 1090. It has been preserved for more than 900 years.

Read on to discover everything you need to about it.


Where Is Skipton Castle?

Where Is Skipton Castle?

One of the best preserved castles in the UK, you will find Skipton Castle in North Yorkshire, near the Yorkshire Dales in the town of Skipton.


History Of Skipton Castle

Skipton Castle | Well Preserved Yorkshire Castle 1

The castle was initially a motte and bailey castle when it was first constructed by Robert de Romille in 1090.

The wood and earth castle was rebuilt using stone to withstand attacks from the Scots. The castle was a perfect defensive structure due to the cliffs behind the castle, which drop down to Eller Beck. 

Throughout the English Civil War, the castle was the only Royalist stronghold in the North of England until December 1645. The Royalists and Oliver Cromwell negotiated a surrender in 1645 after a three-year siege. Cromwell deliberately damaged the castle by ordering the roofs to be removed.

There is a legend that states that sheep fleeces were hung over the walls during the siege to deaden the impact from the cannon fire rounds. The town’s coat of arms feature sleep fleeces. 

Lady Anne Clifford 1590 - 1676 - Skipton Castle. Click for larger image
Lady Anne Clifford

Until 1676, Skipton was the principal seat for the Cliffords. The last Clifford to own it was Lady Anne Clifford. She ordered repairs after the siege, as well as planting a yew tree in central courtyard to commemorate its repair after the war.

The castle was then passed down through the Tufton family after Lady Anne’s daughter, Lady Maragert Sackville, married John Tufton. 


Skipton Castle Today

skipton
Skipton

Today, Skipton Castle is a well-preserved medieval castle in the popular market town of Skipton.

It is a private residence that is owned by the Fattorini family today, and it is a tourist attraction. 

If you want to visit the castle, you will be able to explore every corner of it. This includes the Privy, Bedchamber, Kitchen, and Banqueting Hall.

You can also climb the top storey of the Water Tower or the depths of the Dungeon. 

You can imagine just what life was like back when Skipton Castle offered security and protection from invaders. You can also visit the shop for souvenirs and more information, as well as enjoying a delicious treat in the new tea room. 

When you visit the Castle, you will be provided with a comprehensive Tour Sheet, which is available in 10 different languages. This sheet features 40 different drawings and descriptions of interesting features from Skipton Castle. 


Visiting Skipton Castle

Skipton Castle - The arms of John Clifford complete with wyverns - half dragon, half sea serpent

Skipton Castle is one of the most well preserved and most complete medieval castles in England.

It is fully roofed and boasts an enchanting early Tudor courtyard. There is a large tower, which faces the gatehouse; this was the watchtower originally, which is the most vital feature of the castle’s defences.

To the left of this is the current entrance, which is the inner core of the stronghold. 

There are lots of fascinating elements of this castle, including the marks on the stonework within the main entrance and the Conduit Court.

Carved symbols or initials would be left by stonemasons so they would get paid for the work they had done.

This is just one of many interesting parts of this well-preserved castle in Skipton. 

Visitor info:

Skipton Castle is a great place to visit. There is a car park available, a shop, and Clifford tea rooms. You are also allowed dogs in the Castle, so long as they are on a lead. The only exceptions are the shop and the tearoom. 

Opening times

Skipton Castle is opened every day from 10 am. You can book online for a guaranteed time slot. 

Admissions fees

There are a number of different ticket options available, including self-guided tours, group guided tours, and annual passes. 

If you want to purchase a self-guided tour, the fees are as follows:

  • £9.20 for adults (between 18 and 64 years old)
  • £5.90 for children (between the age of five and 17-years-old)
  • Infants under the age of five-years-old can enter the castle free of charge
  • £8.20 for seniors (those aged 65 years old and older)
  • £30 for a family ticket (two adults and three children)