On Easter Sunday we decided to drive a little further afield than we have been doing, though we didn't want to go anywhere that was going to be busy so we headed to Spofforth Castle. We've passed this many times but it's the first time that we've stopped and had a look around.
Spofforth Castle, situated in North Yorkshire, was a fortified manor house and ruined during the English Civil War.
It was owned by the Percy family, one of the important and influential families in northern England. Reputedly it was here that rebel barons composed the Magna Carta in 1215.
Only the west range of the medieval manor house, which contained the principal apartments, still stands.
Spofforth Castle surprised me, I wasn't expecting much and though it's only a small ruin, it's very well kept, there's interesting information boards, it's free admission and somewhere a bit different to walk Archie.
Archie was eager to enter the ruins, the steps to the ground floor are quite steep but there are various entry points so you don't have to go down these if you don't wish to.
Ruins such as these capture children's imaginations, there were a few families there when we were visiting but as you can see from my photos, there certainly weren't any crowds.
William de Percy built a manor house here in the 11th century, although nothing remains of this older building.
During the Wars of the Roses, which I wrote about in my last post, the Percys supported the House of Lancaster. Following the Battle of Towton in 1461 the victorious Yorkist side, led by the Earl of Warwick, marched on Spofforth, burning the castle and plundering the countryside.
The castle lay in ruins for nearly 100 years until 1559, when it was restored by Henry Lord Percy. By this time, however, the seat of the Percys had shifted to Alnwick in Northumberland.
Sampson Ingleby was the last recorded occupant of the castle, he was the castle steward. He died in 1604 and the castle was finally reduced to ruin during the Civil War.
The ruins, primarily the west side of the original castle, are now listed as a grade II listed building and under guardianship of English Heritage.
It was nice to visit when we had blue skies, though there was quite a strong wind blowing.
The castle stands in the beautiful village of Spofforth. Parking is on the roadside in front of the castle and there's a nice green space with picnic benches which is ideal for families or dog walkers. Our visit here followed on nicely from the Towton Battlefield Trail which we visited on Good Friday and I'm sure it's somewhere we'll visit again.