a pile of rocks with a roof

great hall, skipton castleToday was the first day it was really cold.  The sky stayed mostly grey and it was misty, not quite raining but almost.  We visited Skipton Castle, a 900 year old Norman castle a bit up the road from Bolton Abbey.  Although once “slighted” (the process of rendering a castle no longer a military threat by dismantling it), it was rebuilt and is now considered one of the finest intact castles in England.

Skipton Castle was built by a Norman baron in 1090.  It was granted to the Clifford family in 1310.  The castle was the last remaining Royalist stronghold in the north during the civil war and held out under siege for three years.  When the castle was surrendered in 1645 Cromwell ordered it slighted and the roofs were removed and much of the walls reduced to rubble.   Lady Anne Clifford, the last Clifford to live in the castle, was permitted to rebuild it provided it could no longer be a threat.  As you walk through the castle today, you can see where the original walls meet the restored ones; the original walls are 12 feet thick and the new ones are just half that.  The thinner walls would not be able to bear the weight of cannons.


~ by gun street girl on December 27, 2009.

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