Bolton Castle dominates the Wensleydale village of Castle Bolton. The exterior of the castle looks quite complete, but the interior is mainly an empty shell, with only the west range and south-west tower still intact.
In 1379, Sir Richard, 1st Baron Scrope, who was Chancellor for Richard II, was granted a licence to crenellate his manor. This allowed him to officially continue work on the castle he was building on the site of his old house. The plan of the castle is a quadrangle with accommodation along each side and a tower at each corner. There is only one entry into the courtyard, and that is through a vaulted passage with a portcullis at each end. Inside the courtyard are five identical doorways, each protected by its own portcullis, effectively trapping any attackers who made it into the courtyard.
In 1568 Mary Queen of Scots was held at the castle for a year, before being moved to Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire. During the Civil War the castle was held by the Royalist, John Scrope. In 1645, starvation forced him to surrender to a Parliamentary army after a year long siege. The castle was slighted, leaving only the west range and south-west tower habitable. In 1762, the weakened north-east tower collapsed during a storm, but the rest of the castle survives almost to its original height.
- In the village of Castle Bolton, signposted on minor roads off the A684
- Bolton Castle, Castle Bolton, Nr Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 4ET
- Privately owned. Open to the public. Admission fee
- For further information visit www.boltoncastle.co.uk
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