Skipton has what is said to be one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England, standing watchful over the market town as it has for over 900 years.
During the Civil War it was the last Royalist bastion in the north, yielding only after a three-year siege in 1645. ‘Slighted’ under the orders of Cromwell, the castle was skilfully restored by the redoubtable Lady Anne Clifford.
Born on the 30th January 1590 at Skipton Castle, Lady Anne fought tenaciously for her rights and for the King’s cause in the Civil War.
She was also remarkable for the extensive post-Civil War restoration work on her castles and in 1659 she planted the yew tree in the central courtyard to mark the castle’s repair from its Civil War damage.
Skipton remained the Clifford’s principal seat until 1676. Today, their banner flies over the castle with the approval of the present Lord Clifford of Chudleigh.
Students can explore every corner of the history-rich castle on a school trip; from the depths of the dungeon, where prisoners were kept when awaiting trial at York Assizes, to the Banqueting Hall, Kitchen, Bed Chamber, Privy and the top of the Watch Tower.
A visit to Skipton Castle asks children questions like: who built the castle and why? What was the advantage of the castle being built in Skipton on a 40 metre rocky outcrop? Where does the name ‘Skipton’ originate from; what does it mean? Who lived there, where did they get their food from, what did they eat? Tour guides can give them the answer to these and many other questions.
Online resources and teacher visits
When sending out confirmation of a school trip, Skipton will send other relevant information including a risk assessment. A work sheet applicable to the age of the children will be enclosed for you to copy or develop your own from.
Visit the website for activities and useful information to help with your ground work. A pre-visit can be made by teachers - visit reception, sign the teacher’s visitor book and gain free entry to look around and chat to the staff.
Pupils will be given a castle badge and a card to encourage them to make a return visit and bring their families along.
To book a school visit to Skipton Castle contact: