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19. Wressle Castle

Scenes from the Yorkshire Wolds, East Riding of Yorkshire

 


Wressle Castle is the only substantial castle ruin of any importance in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Wressle Castle has some similarities to Bolton Castle in North Yorkshire, which received its license in 1379.

Sir Thomas Percy built Wressle Castle around 1380 (or the 1390s?).

Wressle Castle has four ranges around a courtyard with four higher massive square cornered towers, of which two remain reasonably intact.

Wressle Castle is privately owned and not open to the public.

* Doc Brown's Science Website biology chemistry physics *

Wressle Castle passed into royal control after Thomas Percy was executed for rebelling against Henry IV, and remained mainly under royal control until 1471 when it was returned to the Percy family. Henry Percy, 5th Earl of Northumberland, refurbished the castle and gardens, bringing them up to the standard of royal properties. The castle was set in an ornamental landscape, with two gardens laid out at the same time as the castle was founded and a third created later. Wressle Castle was really designed as a high-status residence rather than a fortress and, somewhat rarely for a medieval castle, Wressle Castle was never besieged. Wressle Castle was held by Parliament during the English Civil War and demolished in 164650 so it could not be used as a stronghold for a potential Royalist uprising. 150 years later Wressle Castle was further damaged by fire and all that remains above ground of the building is the south range and the two towers described above.

 

The east tower of Wressle Castle, on the right, was of four storeys and contained the chapel.

On the left, the west tower of Wressle Castle was of three storeys with a stair-turret.

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