Middleham Castle

Middleham Castle, located two miles south of Leyburn in North Yorkshire, was for years a stronghold of the Neville family and, especially, Richard duke of Gloucester, later Richard III. This site offers views of the castle and additional material.

Links

Heritage Trail
Views of Middleham – Richard III Society American Branch

Member Photos – Photos Contibuted by David Luitweiler and Laura Blanchard

The East Wall and Keep Shot from the lane looking southwest, this view shows the modern wooden staircase that follows the line of the original stone staircase into the massive 12th century keep. It also shows the observation platform -- the spot of color is A.J. Pollard's umbrella, here being used to signal the photographer.

The East Wall and Keep
Shot from the lane looking southwest, this view shows the modern wooden staircase that follows the line of the original stone staircase into the massive 12th century keep. It also shows the observation platform — the spot of color is A.J. Pollard’s umbrella, here being used to signal the photographer.

middleham1

Middleham Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chapel Complex and the Southeast Tower Taken from the northeast, this view shows the relationship of the Chapel complex to the keep (right, with wooden stairs) and the southeast tower (left).

The Chapel Complex and the Southeast Tower
Taken from the northeast, this view shows the relationship of the Chapel complex to the keep (right, with wooden stairs) and the southeast tower (left).

 

 

 

 

 

The Chapel Complex Taken from the lane near the southeast corner of the castle walls, this shot shows the site of the second-floor chapel to the right. The ground and first floors were probably used as a vestry and living quarters for a priest, choristers, and lay clerks. The masonry in the foreground is thought to be the remains of a latrine tower for the chapel complex.

The Chapel Complex
Taken from the lane near the southeast corner of the castle walls, this shot shows the site of the second-floor chapel to the right. The ground and first floors were probably used as a vestry and living quarters for a priest, choristers, and lay clerks. The masonry in the foreground is thought to be the remains of a latrine tower for the chapel complex.

The Castle A view from the lane that runs along the east wall of the castle, showing the south range and a portion of the east range. From this distance, the three separate storeys of this castle are clearly visible.

The Castle
A view from the lane that runs along the east wall of the castle, showing the south range and a portion of the east range. From this distance, the three separate storeys of this castle are clearly visible.

From the Northeast Another view of the chapel and keep. The low stone wall in the foreground is a later addition; to the right is a remnant of the original curtain wall.

From the Northeast
Another view of the chapel and keep. The low stone wall in the foreground is a later addition; to the right is a remnant of the original curtain wall.

The North Wall Shot from the west and looking east. The buildings on the north range are known to have been used as administrative offices and lodgings in the sixteenth century and may have been used for this purpose in the fifteenth as well. Modern lintels have been installed by English Heritage to prevent further deterioration of the fabric at the windows.

The North Wall
Shot from the west and looking east. The buildings on the north range are known to have been used as administrative offices and lodgings in the sixteenth century and may have been used for this purpose in the fifteenth as well. Modern lintels have been installed by English Heritage to prevent further deterioration of the fabric at the windows.

 

View of the North Range From the inside, looking toward the west.

View of the North Range
From the inside, looking toward the west.

 

 

 

Looking South View from the western edge of the North Range. To the right, the Garderobe Tower; to the left, the keep.

Looking South
View from the western edge of the North Range. To the right, the Garderobe Tower; to the left, the keep.

The North Range Shot from the inside, from the northern end of the west range, looking east toward the gatehouse [brown masonry arch on right]. Just outside the frame, to the right in the middle distance, is the new statue of Richard III.

The North Range
Shot from the inside, from the northern end of the west range, looking east toward the gatehouse [brown masonry arch on right]. Just outside the frame, to the right in the middle distance, is the new statue of Richard III.

Garderobe A drudge's eye view of one of the latrine shafts in the western garderobe tower. This tower was carefully engineered to keep eight separate latrines and their effluents from discommoding their users.

Garderobe
A drudge’s eye view of one of the latrine shafts in the western garderobe tower. This tower was carefully engineered to keep eight separate latrines and their effluents from discommoding their users.

The Statue in the Courtyard Richard III by Linda Thompson. An interesting three-dimensional interpretation of the surviving portraiture of Richard III.

The Statue in the Courtyard
Richard III by Linda Thompson. An interesting three-dimensional interpretation of the surviving portraiture of Richard III.

The Cellar and the Great Hall Within the keep this large cellar, probably used for cooking, storage, and accommodation for the lord's household, underlies the first storey Great Hall. The doorway in the upper right leads to the keep's original chapel, which was then used for other purposes after the construction of the larger chapel to the east of the keep.

The Cellar and the Great Hall
Within the keep this large cellar, probably used for cooking, storage, and accommodation for the lord’s household, underlies the first storey Great Hall. The doorway in the upper right leads to the keep’s original chapel, which was then used for other purposes after the construction of the larger chapel to the east of the keep.

View from the Observation Platform From this observation platform the visitor sees the surrounding countryside from the vantage point of those on the battlement walks or in the new fifteenth-century second-story chamber above the Great Hall (masonry in the foreground). In this view, looking directly over the remains of the Great Hall and the new second storey addition to the keep, toward the north, the spire of the parish church of St. Mary and St. Alkelda can just be seen beyond the trees in the middle distance.

View from the Observation Platform
From this observation platform the visitor sees the surrounding countryside from the vantage point of those on the battlement walks or in the new fifteenth-century second-story chamber above the Great Hall (masonry in the foreground).
In this view, looking directly over the remains of the Great Hall and the new second storey addition to the keep, toward the north, the spire of the parish church of St. Mary and St. Alkelda can just be seen beyond the trees in the middle distance.

Looking south from the observation platform The view from castle's most vulnerable side. This is very close to the view the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester would have had from the windows of the lady chamber, which was located on the south range, one floor below and a little to the right of this vantage point. On the ridge in the middle ground is the site of the older motte-and-bailey castle.

Looking south from the observation platform
The view from castle’s most vulnerable side. This is very close to the view the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester would have had from the windows of the lady chamber, which was located on the south range, one floor below and a little to the right of this vantage point. On the ridge in the middle ground is the site of the older motte-and-bailey castle.

The Great Hall Seen to the right, three of the five eastern windows.

The Great Hall
Seen to the right, three of the five eastern windows.

Town and Castle The view from the front door of the Old School Arts Workshop.

Town and Castle
The view from the front door of the Old School Arts Workshop.

St. Mary's and St. Alkelda's Church The Richard III Society's first commemorative undertaking, a memorial window, was placed here in 1934. An embroidered Trinity altar frontal was donated in the early 1960s. Richard III, as duke of Gloucester, established a college here; the text of the founding documents may be found on the Richard III Society Web Site.

St. Mary’s and St. Alkelda’s Church
The Richard III Society’s first commemorative undertaking, a memorial window, was placed here in 1934. An embroidered Trinity altar frontal was donated in the early 1960s. Richard III, as duke of Gloucester, established a college here; the text of the founding documents may be found on the Richard III Society Web Site.

Memorial Window, St. Mary's and St. Alkelda's Church In the left light is displayed St. Richard of Chichester, with his emblem of an ox; the right light shows St. Anne teaching the Virgin to read. At the base can be seen the kneeling figures of Prince Edward, King Richard, and Queen Anne. The background panes of diamond quarries bear numerous badges of York and Neville. The window was unveiled in 1934 by Marjorie Bowen, the first of many memorials dedicated to the King. A gift of the Fellowship of the White Boar, 1934.

Memorial Window, St. Mary’s and St. Alkelda’s Church
In the left light is displayed St. Richard of Chichester, with his emblem of an ox; the right light shows St. Anne teaching the Virgin to read. At the base can be seen the kneeling figures of Prince Edward, King Richard, and Queen Anne. The background panes of diamond quarries bear numerous badges of York and Neville. The window was unveiled in 1934 by Marjorie Bowen, the first of many memorials dedicated to the King.
A gift of the Fellowship of the White Boar, 1934.

Ralph Neville, First Earl of Westmoreland The fourth Lord Neville and the first Earl of Westmoreland, Ralph Neville was granted the Honour of Richmond by Henry IV, and profited by the eclipse of the Neville rivals, the Percys, after the Percy rebellions of 1403 and 1405. In the early fifteenth century he embarked upon the ambitious rebuilding project that converted Middleham Castle into a suitable seat for the principal lord of the North. [See Middleham History for additional details.] He is buried with his two wives in St. Mary's Church, Staindrop, County Durham. Photo by Anne-Denise Worsnop.

Ralph Neville, First Earl of Westmoreland
The fourth Lord Neville and the first Earl of Westmoreland, Ralph Neville was granted the Honour of Richmond by Henry IV, and profited by the eclipse of the Neville rivals, the Percys, after the Percy rebellions of 1403 and 1405.
In the early fifteenth century he embarked upon the ambitious rebuilding project that converted Middleham Castle into a suitable seat for the principal lord of the North. [See Middleham History for additional details.] He is buried with his two wives in St. Mary’s Church, Staindrop, County Durham. Photo by Anne-Denise Worsnop.

 

 

Area Attractions

Tour UK
Middleham Online