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Whorlton Castle
Swainby, Stokesley, North York Moors

Details for Whorlton Castle

Whorlton Castle near Swainby is a fine example of a Motte and Bailey construction. The site is of great historic interest and is a wonderful place to visit. Visitors can explore the remains and learn about the life and times of its past occupants.

Whorlton Castle is a late 11th century earthwork motte and bailey fortress, founded by the de Meynell family. The low motte is encased by a wide, deep ditch and a counterscarp bank, with the ditched kidney-shaped bailey and an attached burgus to the east. Standing at the west end of a spur, with steep slopes to the north and west, the castle was described as ruinous in 1343.

In the mid to late 14th century, Sir John or Sir Philip Darcy founded the stone castle when adding a tower house and gatehouse to the motte. The rectangular three storey gatehouse stands partially within the ditch and its entrance passage was protected by inner and outer portcullises. Projecting from the north west angle, is a spiral stair which is only accessible from the inner ward and the roof line on this side, is from a late 16th century, a two storey house. Standing on the north-west angle of the motte platform, are the remains of vaulted cellars from the demolished tower house. 



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