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- Helmsley Castle
- Alt Name:
- United Kingdom
- High Medieval (1000AD–1300AD)
- 1100AD - 1199AD
- Ashby Castle, Orford Castle,
Framlingham Castle, Durham Castle,
about Helmsley Castle
Helmsley Castle was a large medieval fortress and mansion, the ruins of which are located in the town of Helmsley, Yorkshire. Initially built as a timber construction by the influential baron and military man Walter l’Espec in 1120, it was converted to stone by his nephew, Robert de Roos and further expanded over the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
Today, the remains of Helmsley Castle rise out of Yorkshire’s dramatic landscape, seemingly on a wave of ditches and banks, which would have served to increase its defensive capabilities. In fact, Helmsley Castle managed to endure a massive attack by the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War. The Royalists held Helmsley for a staggering three months, and the castle only fell when their food and supplies ran dry.
Following the Parliamentarian occupation of Helmsley Castle, its new owner, Sir Thomas Fairfax, chose to give it to his daughter and thus the site was spared destruction. The only parts of the castle which were removed were its defensive structures.
Managed by English Heritage, who also renovated it, Helmsley Castle is now open to the public, who can enjoy its grandeur and learn about its history via audio guides and exhibitions. There are several Civil War displays, looking at the castles military history and featuring an original cannonball.
Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Helmsley Castle is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or now.
Address: 14 Castlegate, Helmsley, York, YO62 5AB
Phone: +44(0)1439 770442
Helmsley Castle is located in the centre of the town of Helmsley in Yorkshire. Helmsley is on the outskirts of the city of York, around 25 miles north of the city centre along route B1363, then the B1257. Bus 128 goes from Scarborough to Helmsley every 1/1.5 hours and routes 31 and 31 X travel to Helmsley from York.
April-Sept, Helmsley Castle is open daily, 10am-6pm, Oct-1 Nov open daily 10am-5pm, 2 Nov-Feb, open daily except Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10am-4pm and in March open daily 10am-5pm. Closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan. Entry costs £4.50 for adults, £2.30 for children, free for English Heritage members. Further concessions available.
Parking is available at a charge at car park N.
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