Sheriff Hutton Castle

Sheriff Hutton Castle

Infobox UKproperty
property_name = Sheriff Hutton Castle
imgage_name = SheriffHuttonCastle(AlisonStamp)Jun2005.jpg
image_size = 200px
caption = The ruins of Sheriff Hutton Castle
type = Stone quadrangular fortress
NT/EH/RHS = Sheriff Hutton Castle Estate
area =
main = Castle ruins
other =
public_access = By prior arrangement
museum = No
exhibition = No
country = England
region = Yorkshire and the Humber
gridSquare = SE6566
address = Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire
postcode =
refreshments = No
parking = Roadside
shop = No
webAddress =
co_ord =coord|54|05|16|N|1|00|17|W|display=inline,title|region:GB_type:landmark

Sheriff Hutton Castle is a quadrangular castle in the village of Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire, England.


The original motte and bailey castle was built by Bertram de Bulmer, Sheriff of York during the reign of King Stephen, the remains of which can be seen to the south of the churchyard.

The stone castle was built at the western end of the village by John, Lord Neville in the late fourteenth century. In 1377, John Nevill obtained a charter for a market on Monday and an annual fair on the eve of the exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14). A license to crenellate was granted by Richard II in 1382, although it is unknown whether building work had commenced before this date. The building has been credited to John Llewyn, who also built nearby Bolton Castle in 1378, on stylistic and documentary grounds.

The castle was passed to John's son, Ralph Neville, the first Earl of Westmorland. Upon Ralph's death in 1425, the Neville estates were partitioned. The younger Ralph retained the title and the Durham estates and Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, later known as "Warwick the Kingmaker", inherited the Yorkshire estates, including Sheriff Hutton.

Upon the death of Richard Neville in 1471 at the Battle of Barnet, his lands were given to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother of Edward IV. Richard often stayed at the castle during his tenure as Lord of the North. Its proximity to York made it convenient to Richard.

By the middle of October 1480, Richard was at Sheriff Hutton where he received news from the Earl of Northumberland that the Scots might attempt retaliation for the raiding party that Richard had led across the borders. Northumberland wrote to the magistrates of York ordering them to prepare an armed force. The men of York send an Alderman to Richard at Sheriff Hutton seeking his advice.

In 1484, Richard established a royal household for the young Edward, Earl of Warwick, son of George of Clarence, and John, Earl of Lincoln. In July of 1484, Richard established the Council of the North, with its chief headquarters at Sheriff Hutton and Sandal Castle. The Council lasted for a century and a half.

In 1485, while awaiting the invasion of Henry Tudor at Nottingham, Richard sent his niece, Elizabeth of York, her sisters, and the Earls of Warwick, Lincoln, Lord Morley and John of Gloucester, to the castle.

The castle became the property of Henry VII and, in 1525, Henry VIII granted it to his son, Henry Fitzroy, who had been newly created as Duke of Richmond and Warden-General of the Marches. A survey of this date describes the castle as being in need of repair.

In 1537 Thomas Howard, the second Duke of Norfolk made repairs to the castle but, following the Council's relocation to York in the mid sixteenth century, the castle went into decline. A further campaign of repairs was undertaken by Henry, Earl of Huntingdon in 1572, but by 1618 the castle was described as ruinous. The castle was acquired by the Ingram family in 1622, and stone from the site was used by them in the building of nearby Sheriff Hutton House.

The castle remained in the Ingram family until the early twentieth century, by which time the ruins were being used as a farmyard. It was designated a scheduled ancient monument in the 1950s, and has recently undergone some repairs by English Heritage. Today the castle is privately owned.


The castle is quadrangular in form, with four rectangular corner towers connected by ranges of buildings, enclosing an inner courtyard. The northern and western sides are straight, whereas those on the south and east contain obtuse, outward pointing angles at their centres. The entrance lies in the east wall, protected by a gatehouse.

Only sections of the towers stand to their original height, and the ranges of buildings and curtain walls between have now largely gone. A middle and outer ward originally existed, but these are now covered by the adjacent farm.



External links

* Village Website with local information and news

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