Whorlton Castle, Swainby

Whorlton Castle is a ruined medieval castle situated near the abandoned village of Whorlton (at grid reference NZ4802) in North Yorkshire, England. It was built in the early 12th century as a Norman motte-and-bailey associated with the nearby settlement. The castle is an unusual example of a motte and bailey that remained in use throughout the Middle Ages and into the early modern period. Built to overlook an important road on the western edge of the North York Moors, the castle fell into ruin as early as the mid-14th century. The site nonetheless continued to be inhabited until at least the early 17th century. Little now remains of the castle itself, other than the remnants of some cellars or undercrofts. The ruined shell of a 14th-century gatehouse still survives, albeit in fairly poor condition. It is a listed building and is privately owned but can be visited by the public.HistoryThe castle was established in the early 12th century at the edge of Castle Bank, a ridge between the villages of Faceby and Swainby, overlooking a small valley through which the road between Thirsk and Stokesley runs. In the 13th century it was referred to variously as Hwernelton or Potto Castle (the village of Potto is part of the same parish). At the time of the Domesday Book, Whorlton was recorded as belonging to Robert, Count of Mortain, the half-brother of William the Conqueror. It subsequently passed to the de Meynell family, who founded the castle.
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Whorlton Castle Reviews
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  • A visited here last week. Found it while I was passing on the road. Free to enter and seems to be fairly intact. Great for kids to have a climb around on, with great views.  more »
  • A basic derelict ruin now but the views are exceptional on a clear day you can see the countryside for miles around. A good place to walk around the local area and explore some more hidden gems  more »
  • Not a lot left which is probably why it is free, but well situated, good views, old church up the road and lost village on its doorsteep, well worth a stop, take a picnic make an afternoon of it  more »
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