Spofforth Castle
Spofforth Castle
The remains of a fortified manor house belonging to the powerful Percy family. There was a manor house here as early as the 11th century, but the current castle remains belong primarily to the 14th and 15th centuries. The best preserved parts of the castle are the hall and solar, but the oldest section is the undercroft, which dates to the 13th century and lies beneath the great hall and family quarters.
The first manor was built by William Percy shortly after 1067. The Percy familiy were staunch supporters of William the Conqueror, and to repay their support the new king granted the Percies 86 manors in England. Spofforth was the primary family residence until the 14th century, when the family moved to Alnwick Castle. Henry Percy was granted a license to crenelate Spofforth in 1309, and the castle was further expanded in the 14th and 15th centuries to produce the layout we can see today.

The castle was slighted during the Wars of the Roses, but was rebuilt in 1559. It was once more damaged during the Civil War, but this time it did not recover and lapsed into ruin.

The rear of the castle is set into a rock cliff, so that the rear entry leads directly onto the upper floor. The most striking part of the remains is the corner turret, which still stands to its full height and is still roofed.