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Scarborough Castle

Scarborough Castle's tall keep, barbican, and great curtain wall dominate the Yorkshire headland above the town and harbor of Scarborough. Built during 1136-1212 by William le Gros, King Henry II, and King John, this royal castle was important in national and local politics and defense throughout the Middle Ages, but was badly damaged by Parliamentarian cannon in 1645. Four of the medieval periods important to Scarborough Castle are described in more detail below, and a gallery of pictures are linked to the castle map.

Take a tour of the castle and its history here, and visit the real thing if you can!

Photo of the main gate The main barbican gate, as seen from the top of Castle Road.

General Information:

A description of the physical structure of Scarborough Castle

A description of the Social Interactions in a castle



Kinemage of the Keep:

3D Kinemage of the Keep:
This is an interactive, rotatable 3D schematic reconstruction of the keep; drag with the mouse to move it. It requires a Java-enabled browser.


The Roles of Scarborough Castle in English Medieval History are as Diverse as the People who Ruled it:

William le Gros (d. 1179)

William le Gros' Involvement with Scarborough Castle

The politics of William le Gros, Earl of Yorkshire -in the reign of King Stephen

King Henry II (r. 1154-1189)

Henry II's Involvement with Scarborough Castle

The politics of Henry II

King John (r. 1199-1216)

King John's Involvement with Scarborough Castle

The politics of King John

King Edward II (r. 1307-1327)

Edward II and Piers Gaveston's Involvement with Scarborough Castle

The politics of Edward II, and his Favorites


Scarborough Castle Picture Galleries:

Click in active map areas, or on text links at right.

Photo of an inset map link to barbican link to gunner's house link to curtain wall link to inner bailey link to keep link to inside keep link to great hall link to king's chambers link to sally port link to chapel and signal station

More Maps and Bird's Eye Views


Master Gunner's House


Inner Bailey

The Keep

Inside the Keep

Great Hall

King's Chambers

Sally Port

Saint Mary's Church and Spring


Scarborough Castle Time Lines:

Short Time Line- fewer, more detailed entries.

Long Time Line- more complete, less detail.

Relevant Web Sites:

English Heritage

Town of Scarborough

Yorkshire Coast

Yorkshire Tourist Board