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Sandal Castle, Wakefield

3.7
#7 of 43 in Things to do in Wakefield
Castle Tourist Spot
Sandal Castle is located in Wakefield. To visit Sandal Castle on your trip to Wakefield, use our Wakefield tourist route planner.
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Where to stay in Wakefield

The area surrounding All Saints Wakefield Cathedral is scenic and central, while a modern hotel outside the center offers deals on nightly rates. Consider a self-catered rental apartment in the residential areas circling the city center.
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234 reviews
Google
4.1
  • Not sure what to expect. Arrived at 4:30 to see sign say car park closed at 3:30, however gates were open. Had a quick look at what was a very limited ruin. Pictures indicated it had been quite a subs...  more »
  • Not a great deal to see at the castle. Once upon a time it had a visitor centre and little shop ect but that's all closed now, along with the ruins. They is a foot bridge over to what was the centre o...  more »
  • it had some breathtaking views from the hill, it's free, but the bridge to get over the non watered moat was blocked due to safety concerns, so yoy had to climb down the embankment and then up the oth...  more »
Google
  • Breathtaking taking views the ruins the lake wake and the water rides. Train ride is great for kids and has many BBQ stands. Great sandy play ground for kids and an amazing day. Top class all the way
  • Its free. Great views, easy parking. Well worth calling in. No toilets, or visitor center. Easy to see the layout of the site.
  • Nice for a picnic or just to let the kids let steam. Views are beautiful and you can see emilin moor mast in the distance on a clear day
  • Great views. But needs bridges etc opening
  • Sandal Castle was first built in the 11th century, after the Norman Invasion. Many years later, In 1460, during the Wars of the Roses, Richard, Duke of York, was killed whilst attempting to ward off Lancastrian forces at what is now known as The Battle of Wakefield, which took place in the area surrounding Richard’s castle at Sandal, a short distance south of Wakefield. So what triggered the battle? The King was Henry VI, cousin of Richard. Whilst in London, Richard allegedly coerced Parliament into agreeing to make him king, on the death of Henry, by which process Henry’s son, next in line to the throne, would be disinherited. Richard, satisfied for now, made his way back north but Henry’s wife, the formidable Margaret of Anjou, was having none of this and a Lancastrian army was raised to attack Richard and take him out of the equation permanently. Richard owned and used the castle as a base. Under seige and whilst awaiting reinforcements and for whatever reason, he ill-advisedly took a group of his men on a sortie. Massively outnumbered, he was captured and executed. Richard’s son Edward, seeking revenge for his father’s death, very soon raised a Yorkist army which finally defeated the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton. Crowning himself as Edward IV he had Henry ‘disposed of’ permanently. Margaret fled with her son but he was killed in a later battle. Sandal Castle remained functioning for many years but, following sieges in the English Civil War, it was deliberately turned to ruin to make it unusable. Today, much of the magnificent mott & bailey earthworks remain with some stone ruins still evident. Note: Sandal Castle is currently (April 2017) under certain access restrictions imposed by Wakefield Council. It would appear that the castle car park (Free) is open to the public as are the grounds apart from footpath access into the motte & bailey of the castle itself. A wooden footbridge giving access across the very deep ditch around the castle, has been closed off due apparently to safety concerns regarding the structural integrity of the bridge. Visitors are advised not to climb the steep embankments giving access to the castle ruins, due to safety concerns. The Visitor Centre is closed and a 'To Let' sign is displayed on the buidling. There are no indications at the site as to future plans for the castle. IL