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We have changed the opening arrangements of our sites to play our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Scarborough Castle is currently closed and any tickets pre-booked for the closed period will be cancelled and refunds automatically made as needed, so there is no need to contact us. We are keeping a selection of sites open for local people to use for exercise during the lockdown period. These are a mixture of free-to-enter and paid sites, and all have plenty of outdoor space for safe social distancing. Visits to paid sites must be booked in advance. We hope to be able to reopen many more of our sites in the near future, and we are currently taking advanced bookings for early spring and beyond. If we are unable to open a site by the time of your booked visit, your ticket will be automatically refunded without you needing to contact us. Thank you for your understanding, patience and support during this difficult time.
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