Pickering Castle

Pickering Castle


Location: Pickering, North Yorkshire  Map

Constructed: 1069–1070 by William the Conqueror


Description of Pickering Castle

Pickering Castle is a medieval motte- and- bailey citadel in Pickering, North Yorkshire in United Kingdom. Pickering Castle was constructed in 1069–1070 by William the Conqueror to secure newly conquered lands after his invasion of 1066. This first building consisted of a large, central wall (the core castle), the outer palisades (which included the outer bailey) and interior buildings, especially a donjon at the highest point of the castle. Some visitors claim to have seen a ghost of a grey monk who walks outside of the walls of the inner castle. Those who dared to come close to him claim that monk's face is covered by blood. He is also carrying some items underneath his cloak, but no one got a good at what it is.


Pickering Castle was originally a wooden and earth fortress. Later it was rebuilt in stone and received a donjon. The present courtyard was originally the outer bailey and was built between 1180 and 1187. Between 1216 and 1236 the wooden donjon was replaced by a stone building. During this time, the chapel was built, from which you can still find a reconstruction of the Pickering castle. An outer courtyard and a curtain, as well as three towers and two moats - one outside the curtain and one in the outer courtyard - were built between 1323 and 1326. Later, a gatehouse, stoves, a knight's hall and warehouses were added. The castle is located in the valley of Pickering and is bounded on the west by a steep cliff, which was well defended.


The ruins are particularly well preserved because Pickering Castle was one of the few castles that was more affected by neither the Wars of the Roses nor the English civil war of the 17th century. In 1926 it was taken over by the Ministry of Works (the predecessor of English Heritage) the castle in his possession. It is a Scheduled Monument and publicly accessible.