Spofforth Things to Do
Old Railway Bridge
This railway bridge was part of the former Harrogate to Church Fenton railway which opened in 1845 but closed in 1964. Today you can see the bridge where the trains used to run.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Historical Travel
Spofforth Castle is originally a fortified manor house once owned by powerful Percy family going back to the 1500s and 1600s. Today, you can only see the ruins of what was the earthworks and north, south and east low walls.
From the Norman Conquest until the 1500s it was the principal Percy seat. William de Percy, a good friend of William The Conquerer, originally built a manor house in the 1200s although nothing remains of this building today. The Magna Carta was drawn up in 1215 by the rebel barons. The Percys supported the House of Lancaster during the Wars of the Roses and after the 1461 Battle of Towton, the victory Yorkist side, arrived in Spofforth and burnt the actual castle. A century later, it was restored by Henry Percy even if the seat of the Percys had already transferred to Alnwick, Northumberland, North East England. The last occupant to Spofforth Castle was Sampson Ingleby and the castle was left unoccupied until it was brought to ruin during England's Civil War. It was left to the state in 1924. Today it's owned and maintained by English Heritage.
It is free to look around and the grounds are great to relax and have a picnic.
Please check out the website for a description of the castle.Related to:
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
THE RUINED CASTLE
Spofforth castle dates back to the 11th Century. It was a fortified manor house that belonged to the once powerful Percy family. The Percy family were friends and loyal to William the Conqueror. The castle ruins that are seen today date back to the 14th Century and it played its part in the battle of the roses on the Lancastrian side. After the battle of Towton in 1461 the castle was plundered and burned by the Yorkist troops led by the Earl of Warwick.
The castle lay in ruins until 1559 when it was restored by the Percy family even though they had moved their home to Alnwick in Northumberland.
The last occupant was Samson Ingleby who died in 1604. Reduced to ruins again in the civil war it was eventually given as a deed of gift from Charles Henry, Baron Leconfield, to the state in 1924.
The castle now belongs to English heritage.
A short and expensive ride to Spofforth!
There are frequent bus schedules to Spofforth from Leeds and Harrogate.
Living in East Leeds, I was able to get the Leeds to Harrogate bus from Seacroft to Spofforth instead of going via the city centre. Transdev No. 770 bus runs every half hour Mondays to Saturdays during the day and every hour on Sundays and all evenings.
Please click onto the links and also Metro (Public Transport for West Yorkshire) to find out further information on timetables and fares on the bus companies.
It took me approximately an hour one way to reach Spofforth from Seacroft and travels via Thorner, Bramham, Boston Spa and Clifford.
It cost 3.80 gbp for a day return from Wetherby to Spofforth. Expensive considering it's only a 10 minutes bus ride from Wetherby. However North Yorkshire Councils doesn't subsides as much money for public transport compared to West Yorkshire and other metropolitan counties.Related to:
- Road Trip