Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Knaresborough Castle (Knaresborough)

Knaresbrough Castle is an impressive and picturesque ruin in the old Yorkshire market town of Knaresborough.

There has been a fortified building on the site, high up above the River Nidd, since the Anglo-Saxon period.

Knaresborough was granted by William the Conqueror to Serlo de Burgh, and it was his grandson Eustace Fitzjohn who built the castle.

Three of the knights who murdered Thomas a Becket at Canterbury Cathedral sheltered here for a time after the deed in 1170. One of them, Hugh de Morville, was the castle's constable.

King John was a frequent visitor. He found it a useful base on his hunting trips in Yorkshire.

Richard II was kept here for a short while, on his way from Flint to Pontefract.

Today's ruins date mostly from the late 14th century, when the castle was in the possession of John of Gaunt. The keep had been built by Edward II in 1310.

During the Civil War, the castle proved difficult to besiege, but the Royalist defenders were starved into submission. Oliver Cromwell thereupon gave orders for it to be slighted.

The Court House Museum is in the grounds.

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