After I wrote about Pickering Castle I found Jamie’s blog here. Jamie admits to having a bit of a passion for castles, and I have to say it struck a cord with me. I see the word Castle, and I have to go. Mr E is the same about walled gardens, the ones that have vegetables. We support (humour) each others obsessions in this matter.
So with great joy a couple of weeks ago we ventured up into the Yorkshire dales and visited Middleham Castle. This castle was where Richard the third spent his childhood, learning the skills of a knight, riding, fighting in the main.
The first wooden castle was built in the usual motte and bailey way on the hill in the middle distance. Seen here from the stone keep.
It was abandoned in favour of the stone castle , the remains of which we have today.
The best view of the castle is from above in the keep, the third storey to be precise. The keep is not built on a mound but is in the centre of the castle.
Many of the walls are much higher than the ruins of some castles I have visited , including the one here in Pickering, and you get a real sense of the internal geography of a castle. In front of you here is the Gatehouse with views across the dale. This is not the original entrance to the castle, that is to the right hand side just out of view beyond the visitor centre.
Here you are looking down into the keep, the cellar to be precise. The Great Hall would have been above it at first floor level.
The wall to the left is the main lodgings in the West range, the keep to the right. there would have been a bridge between the two buildings at first floor level, to enable to great and the good to go from banquet to bed without getting muddy in the mire below. Walking between these two you get the sense of what it must have been to live in a castle. The hustle and bustle at ground level with servants, horses and animals and the life of the nobles above.
The original chapel was at first floor level but became too small, the new one is the ruin just in front.
Seen here from a slightly different angle.
I loved this ivy covered wall.
This castle is well worth a visit, looked after now by English National Heritage. More details see here
Love to know if anyone else loves a good castle, and which would be your favourite?