August 2 – Pickering CastleToday we stayed in Pickering and walked up to the castle.
On the way up you have a view over the station and you can just make out one of the carriages in this picture.
Unlike many English castles, it managed to remain undamaged by both English civil wars but fell into disrepair during the 16th and 17th centuries and was not maintained in any significant way until it was taken over by English Heritage in the 20th century.
Only one wall remains of the central building that was on the mound, known as the motte and originally, it would have looked much like the Great Tower at York Castle.
There are still some of the outer towers still standing but most of them are only partially accessible to the public. The main entrance is in the base of one of the remaining towers.
One building that has been restored is the chapel and you can see some of the derelict buildings beside it.
It did not take long to explore the site and we walked around peering inside all the standing buildings and looking at the displays inside the chapel. From the top of the mound you could see a long way in all directions and this must have made a good lookout during the times when hostile armies may have been marching towards the castle.
After this we returned to the house for a meal.
One thing I have not so far commented on is that about the house we stayed in there were some odd ornaments.
In the landing window there was a large china cat snarling at the world which was pretty lifelike from outside. That was kind of scary but not creepy.
However, in the kitchen there were the most creepy set of china clowns I have ever seen.
These were straight out of a Steven King novel and no one would have been surprised to find that they had moved to different positions during the night. Imagine waking up to find one in your room.