Skipton Castle , Yorkshire

by Veronica

The extended family went up to Skipton for a family day for my birthday. What a fantastic place to visit and a great example of a castle.

Skipton castle Yorkshire is a beautifully preserved castle that was built in 1090. We had a day out and saw all the attractions of the day. There was a re-enactment of medieval court cases and the castle visitors were the jurors and also dancing and archery displays.

A great day out.

Skipton Castle was originally a motte and bailey castle made of earth and wood but was rebuilt in stone. It is a very good defensive position being near cliffs and a river.

It is an important tourist attraction locally and is also a private residence.

Des or mais - henceforth
Des or mais - henceforth

The castle has an outer wall, an inner castle, some outer buildings, a gate house and the words "Des or mais" above the gate. This is medieval French for henceforth.

stairwells
stairwells
inner walls
inner walls

The inner building of the castle

The main part of the castle
The main part of the castle

The castle windows don't let much light in but were excellent defensively as arrows could be fired from the windows against attackers but no arrows could come in because the windows are so narrow.

Inside the main building , there are stair cases everywhere, Norman arched windows and in the middle there is a courtyard with an interesting gnarled tree trunk. Very old .

The centre courtyard

a  very old twisted tree
a very old twisted tree

Family time

This was a family day but we did our own thing meeting up on our way round.

with my beloved
with my beloved

Events

The day we visited there was much to see. The organisers had used medieval court records to re-enact true court cases and we were the jurors. It was a fascinating look at the social history of the area.

The archery display was great fun. This is a cross bow.

Attractions

Medieval court, dancing and archery
medieval court reenactment
medieval court reenactment
Archery display
Archery display
medieval dancing
medieval dancing

I took part in the medieval dancing which was fun to watch and take part in. ( I am not pictured. )

 

The Chapel below is in the grounds and still has its Baptismal font in tact. The whole place is so well preserved, almost exactly as it would have been a thousand years ago. Look at the wooden  beams in the ceiling.

The chapel

the chapel
the chapel

Windows

the slit windows for arrows
the slit windows for arrows
windows from the inside
windows from the inside

I wanted to show the inside and outside of the castle windows. Slit windows are a major feature of British castles.

Conclusion

If you want a castle that is in tact and not a ruin then Skipton has to be one of the best to visit. It was a great way to spend my birthday with family and friends.

Updated: 08/07/2017, Veronica
 
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DerdriuMarriner on 08/08/2017

Veronica, Belated Happy Birthday wishes! Did centre, inner courtyards have bigger, wider doors and windows to let in more light? How could it be other than a fortune in candles and firewood to keep those interiors light or did they all have dark-adapted eyes?

Veronica on 08/08/2017

Everywhere in the N was vulnerable to their attacks. They attacked the N with savagery.

frankbeswick on 08/08/2017

Yorkshire was vulnerable to Scottish attack as it had rich lands.

Veronica on 08/08/2017

The Northern Norman Castles were certainly built as a defence against the Scots who were a vicious and stealing bunch. Raiding parties were common across the borders.

Veronica on 08/08/2017

Yes indeed it is one of the earliest Norman fortified settlements.

I doubt they were comfortable even in stone castles. Very dark and cold. If you ever get to Uk , you would enjoy castles that's for sure.

frankbeswick on 08/08/2017

Castles were designed for people who had a less than harmonious relationship with their neighbours, be they the nearest ones [peasants] or less proximate [e.g. Scots.] As the northern English had already displayed a propensity to massacre Normans, being safe inside the less than comfortable castle was preferable to being dead.

Skipton Castle was originally made of wood, but soon it became evident that the Scots had discovered how to set wooden castles aflame, so stone was preferable.And as Normans were considered less of an enemy than Scots were, the local English could take refuge inside the Norman castle. The Scots used to come south on slave raiding expeditions where they carried off people and property. This practice became less common after the battle of Northallerton in 1138 when an invading Scottish army was massacred and in 1157 when the Scottish king was forced to hand back English land that he had seized.

blackspanielgallery on 08/07/2017

From the early date iit must have been right after William went through England. I realize the early castles were wood, so I would not expect any to remain intact. I doubt it woukd be comfortable enough for a residence, but there must be ways to make it so.

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