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Situated in an attractive market town at the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, Pickering Castle is a classic 12th century motte-and-bailey castle. The grassy mount and the curtain walls punctuated by tall towers are the most prominent features of this royal fortress. The mound was raised by William the Conqueror, and the stonework added for Henry III as a necessary defence against the Scots. The last additions to the defences of the castle were the outer entrance, curtain wall and three towers, built on the orders of Edward II.
Set amidst one of the largest forests in the country, Pickering Castle was used by a succession of medieval Kings as a hunting lodge and holiday home. By the time of the Civil War its military purpose had long been abandoned, and most of the castle was left to decay.
A special exhibition in the chapel explores the castle's fascinating history.