Things to Do, Attractions

Helmsley Castle

Location: Castlegate, Helmsley, York, YO62 5AB
Telephone:
01439 770442 Call Us
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Helmsley Castle 187 1976656352
Helmsley outer defences from ditch 1911864285
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About Us

Following the latest government recommendations we will be closed.

England’s past is full of stories of hope in the face of adversity, and of people coming together to overcome all kinds of challenges. Although we won’t be able to share those stories with you in person over the coming weeks, we’ll continue to share them on our social media.

Towering over the attractive market town of Helmsley, and surrounded by spectacular banks and ditches, Helmsley Castle is an imposing sight with a wealth of history. The first castle at Helmsley was built in the early twelfth century by Walter Espec - 'Walter the Woodpecker', who also founded nearby Rievaulx Abbey and Kirkham Priory. Modernised by Robert de Roos and his descendants, and converted into living quarters and a luxurious mansion by the Manners family, the castle faced its greatest challenge in the Civil War period. Held for King Charles, Helmsley endured a three month siege before Cromwell's men blew up the Great Keep, slicing it in half with the explosion. Helmsley Castle has recently undergone a thorough makeover by English Heritage, making it more accessible to a wide range of visitors. Its fascinating story is told through a brand-new visitor centre, and an imaginative hands-on exhibition in the mansion range, which explores the social and domestic, as well as the military, aspects of the fortress. The towering, shattered keep and fearsome earthworks continue to fire the imaginations of visitors to the site, making Helmsley Castle the perfect location to learn more about the dramatic history of this region. Family friendly activities and resources.

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