During our stay at Bolton Percy Gatehouse in North Yorkshire, we put our English Heritage membership to good use and as well as visiting Whitby Abbey also visited Scarborough Castle. As you can see, Olive and Shelby absolutely loved it too!
The medieval ruined fortress stands on a rocky headland overlooking the North Sea and the seaside resort of Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Evidence of human activity on this headland dates back to around 2000 BC. It was occupied by the Roman army in the late fourth century AD, and then the Vikings came in the 11th century. Scarborough was named during this period, in Norse it means 'stronghold of Skardi', and their settlement was on the lower ground near the sea, with the the headland thought to have been used for livestock grazing. It was during this period that Scarborough disappeared from the historical record for a century, when it was attacked by Harald Hardrada, King of Norway.
The building of Scarborough Castle began when Scarborough was re-founded in the mid-twelfth century, and William le Gros, Count of Aumâle was granted the Earldom of York. William began work on a new stone fortification and as a result, a civilian settlement grew around the castle. The site was alternately fortified by Romans, Saxons, and Vikings before Henry II built the castle that stands today.
Like Whitby Abbey, the castle is owned and maintained by English Heritage, and offers amazing views across the sea and countryside of North Yorkshire. You can still see the remains of a Roman signal station, a medieval chapel, the 18th century Master Gunner's house and the Great Tower which was erected by Henry II and partially devastated by Civil War bombardment. When walking up to the castle, we paid our respects to novelist and poet Anne Brontë who is buried in the cemetery of St Mary's Churchyard at the foot of the castle.