Knaresborough Castle, North Yorkshire

In January 2013 we made a quick visit to Knaresborough Castle, as I love the view from the castle looking across to the rail bridge, with the River Nidd down below.  Its one of those views that is just breathtaking when you first see it and for me every time since.  The poor old castle never really gets look at, until that snowy January day and I think the snow just enhanced the ruins.  I would like the next visit to be on a hot sunny day with blue skies and white fluffy clouds…….. I can dream 🙂

There are a few photos of the town and I have also added a few notes about the castle, I would love to have seen it as it was, before they dismantled the buildings in 1648, situated high above the town, it must have looked quite impressive.

Knaresborough Castle was built by a Norman baron around 1100 on a cliff top above the River Nidd.

In 1205 King John took over Knareborough Castle and spent £1,290 on improvements to the castle. The castle was later rebuilt at a cost of £2,174 between 1307 and 1312 by Edward I and later completed by Edward II.

In 1331, Edward III’s wife, Queen Phillipa, received the Honour and Castle of Knaresborough as part of her marriage settlement. She was particularly fond of the castle and spent many summers there with her young family. In 1372 the castle came into the ownership of her son, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, and it has remained a part of the Duchy of Lancaster ever since. John of Gaunt’s son, Henry Bolingbroke was forced into exile by king Richard II who confiscated the Lancastrian properties; but Henry returned and deposed the king, imprisoning him for one night at Knaresborough before taking him to his castle at Pontefract where he was murdered.

The castle was taken by Parliamentarian troops in 1644 during the Civil War, and largely destroyed in 1648 because of an order from Parliament to dismantle all Royalist castles. Much of the stone was reused in local buildings.

The ruins are now open to the public and the grounds are used as a public leisure space, with a bowling green and putting green open during summer.

 January 2013

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