Thursday, 20 September 2012

We've explored Skipton Castle

I just cannot believe that I had never been to Skipton Castle. I must have been to the town hundreds of times but had never felt the urge to visit the place. What I'd missed out on, was one of the best preserved Castles I've seen. Sal acted as my guide for the day and she duly took charge of the information leaflet. If I'd have been on my own, I think I would have probably just wandered about without taking in much of the history of the place but Sal, being a more organised person than me, kept to the route and performed her duties admirably. I don't recall her us getting lost once.

I wont bore people with a description of the interior as it would mean nothing to you if you weren't there but suffice to say, you could easily spend a couple of hours exploring the place. There is also an excellent Coffee shop and gift shop.

We really enjoyed an interesting afternoon which I personally don't think would have been half as good with out the Tour Guide but then again, Sal might not agree with me on that one.

The most famous person to inhabit the Castle was Lady Ann Clifford who was the last of the Clifford family to own it. She spent 26 years of her later life rebuilding churches and castles throughout the North of England. Skipton, Pendragon, Appleby, Brough and Brougham Castles were restored to their former glory by her.

There is also a Lady Anne’s Way which is a 100 mile walk through places associated with Lady Anne Clifford. It starts at her birth place in Skipton and goes through Wharfedale, Wensleydale before finishing in Cumbria at Brougham Castle near Penrith which where she died.

A short history of the Castle :-

The castle was originally a motte and bailey castle built in 1090 by Robert de Romille, a Norman baron. The earth and wood castle was rebuilt in stone to withstand attacks from the Scots to the north. The cliffs behind the castle, dropping down to Eller Beck, made the castle a perfect defensive structure. In 1310, Edward II granted the castle to Robert Clifford who was appointed Lord Clifford of Skipton and Guardian of Craven. Robert Clifford ordered many improvements to the fortifications but died in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 when the improvements were barely complete.

During the English Civil War the castle was the only Royalist stronghold in the north of England until December 1645. After a three-year siege, a surrender was negotiated in 1645 between Oliver Cromwell and the Royalists. Cromwell ordered the removal of the castle roofs. During the siege legend has it that the walls were reinforced by hanging sheep fleeces over the sides to deaden the impact from the rounds of cannon fire and sheep fleeces feature on the towns coat of arms as a result. Skipton remained the Cliffords' principal seat until 1676. Lady Anne Clifford (1590–1676) was the last Clifford to own it. After the siege, she ordered repairs and as a commemoration she planted a yew tree in the central courtyard to mark its repair after the war. - Wikipedia

Leeds - Liverpool Canal, Skipton

Castle Courtyard

Skipton Castle

Ruin of the Chapel of St John the Evangelist.

The Conduit Court

My guide for the day.

Clifford family Coat of Arms.

The Conduit Court

The Conduit Court

Entrance from The Conduit Court


Ruin of the Chapel of St John the Evangelist

Castle Gardens

Castle Gardens

We've explored Skipton Castle

A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...