History and Research: Scarborough Castle

Aerial view of Scarborough Castle

Scarborough Castle stands on a massive promontory of rock that rises sheer-sided high above the North Sea. The 12th-century great tower crowning it is the centrepiece of a royal castle begun by Henry II, which was strengthened by later monarchs. It played a prominent part in national events during the Middle Ages, and was twice besieged during the English Civil War. But the castle buildings are relatively modern additions to a site which, as a natural fortress, has been intermittently inhabited and fortified for nearly 3,000 years.

Researching
our sites 

These pages are part of Portico, an online resource
which explores the history and significance of the sites in our
care and provides a gateway to further sources of information about them.

We value your feedback about these pages. Contact us at portico@english-heritage.org.uk

About the author 

The author of the Portico pages on Scarborough Castle is John Goodall, architectural editor of Country Life and author of the award-winning The English Castle (2011) and several English Heritage guidebooks.

Buy the guidebook 

A more detailed history and comprehensive tour of Scarborough Castle can
be found in the English Heritage guidebook, one of the critically acclaimed series of Red Guides to English Heritage sites.

Scarborough Castle guidebook