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Spofforth Castle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spofforth Castle
Spofforth, North Yorkshire, England
Spofforth Castle Undercroft.jpg
Spofforth Castle; built partially into the bedrock of the land which supports it
Spofforth Castle is located in North Yorkshire
Spofforth Castle
Spofforth Castle
Coordinates53°57′14″N 1°26′48″W / 53.9538°N 1.4468°W / 53.9538; -1.4468
Grid referencegrid reference SE364510
Site information
OwnerEnglish Heritage
Open to
the public
Site history
EventsEnglish Civil War

Spofforth Castle in the village of Spofforth, North Yorkshire, England was a fortified manor house, ruined during the English Civil War and now run by English Heritage as a tourist attraction.


Spofforth Castle was built by Henry de Percy in the early 14th century when he was given a licence to crenellate a manor house on the site, with later alterations made in the 14th and 15th centuries.[1][2] The hall-tower of the castle is all that remains of the ruins.[3] The eastern wall of the hall was built largely upon rock foundations. The extant 13th century structure consist of a ground floor undercroft, which has a rock face forming its eastern wall due to its elevation.[3] Two staircases remain on the eastern wall, cut into the rock which lead to the lobby area of the hall. There is a two-storey chamber section on the north side of the tower which has a polygonal stair turret to its northwest corner. The upper storey is of 15th century construction, and is probably a restoration.[3]

The Percy estates, including Spofforth, were confiscated after the rebellion against King Henry IV in 1408 and given to Sir Thomas Rokeby. They were later restored and then lost again in 1461 when the Percys supported the losing side in the War of the Roses. Spofforth was eventually returned to the family and remained inhabited by their steward until 1604.[4] The castle was reduced to ruins during the English Civil War of 1642–1646.[4]

The castle was given to the Office of Works in 1924 by the Baron Leconfield.[4] The ruins, primarily the west side of the original castle, are now listed as a grade II* listed building and under the guardianship of English Heritage as a tourist attraction. They are managed by Spofforth-with-Stockeld Parish Council.

See also


  1. ^ Pettifer, p. 309.
  2. ^ Lyte, Henry Maxwell (1894). Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward II: Volume 1, 1307–1313. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. p. 144.
  3. ^ a b c Fry, Plantagenet Somerset (1980). The David & Charles Book of Castles. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. pp. 300–302. ISBN 0-7153-7976-3. OCLC 7547072.
  4. ^ a b c "History and Research: Spofforth Castle". English Heritage. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2012.


External links

This page was last edited on 1 June 2020, at 19:09
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