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Live and breathe the story of England at royal castles, historic gardens, forts & defences, world-famous prehistoric sites and many others.
We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. To book your visit, click here.
Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.
Excavations suggest two distinct periods of habitation in about 800 BC and 500 BC.
A fortified tower is erected on the headland. It was probably one of many signal stations built on England's north-eastern coast by the Romans.
A chapel is built within the foundations of the Roman signal station and a small cemetery created.
William le Gros, Count of Aumâle, builds the castle. King Stephen makes him Earl of York.
Find out more about the history of Scarborough Castle
Henry II becomes king and demands the return of all royal castles. Scarborough passes to the Crown.
Henry begins to rebuild the castle. He plants a new town beneath its walls and builds the great tower.
King John spends more on Scarborough than on any other castle in the kingdom. He adds a new royal chamber block and an extensive outer wall.
Henry Percy, 2nd Baron Percy, and his wife are granted licence to live in the castle. They build a bakehouse, brewhouse and kitchen in the inner bailey.
Richard III is the last king to stay at the castle, when he assembles a fleet to resist the invasion of Henry Tudor, later Henry VII.
Constable Sir Ralph Eure declares his support for Henry VIII against the Pilgrimage of Grace and is besieged in the castle. Although damaged by gunfire, the castle is held successfully.
Thomas Stafford seizes the castle, hoping to raise a revolt against Queen Mary. The castle is easily captured and Stafford and his accomplices are executed
Royalist Scarborough endures one of the bloodiest Civil War sieges. The walls of the great tower are sheared and half the building collapses during Parliamentarian attacks.
Two German warships fire more than 500 shells on the town and castle from the bay. There are 17 civilians killed and more than 80 seriously wounded.
The castle is taken into state guardianship. The 18th-century barracks block is demolished and the Roman signal station and later chapel are excavated.
The castle is placed in the care of English Heritage.
Learn more about Scarborough Castle