Sheriff Hutton Castle, Yorkshire
Castle Side, Sheriff Hutton
B-roads off A19, A64
Sheriff Hutton Castle and its owners are very much associated with two English civil wars, the 'Anarchy' of King Stephen and Empress Matilda, and later the Wars of the Roses between the Houses of Lancaster and York.
The castle stands upon high ground with its corner towers still standing to a great height.
It is similar in design to Bolton Castle but much ruined and too dangerous to allow public access.
The castle is set within farm land as it has done since the 17th century, but there is a public footpath that allows visitors to walk around the perimeter to get a good view of the castle.
Park with consideration on the quiet road in the village near the castle where you will find a footpath which provides a pleasant stroll round the edge of the castle grounds.
~ History ~
1066 ~ William the Conqueror grants Sheriff Hutton to Ansketil de Bulmer, a Saxon who supported the Norman cause.
1140 ~ An earth and timber ringwork castle is built during the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Matilda over the English succession. Its builder is Bertram de Bulmer, Sheriff of York. The castle is held for Matilda but shortly after construction it is seized for Stephen by Alan Rufus, Earl of Brittany.
1154 ~ After the civil war is ended the castle is returned to the Bulmer family.
1331 ~ The male line of the Bulmers fails and the castle passes to the powerful Neville family through marriage.
1382 ~ John, Lord Neville recieves a license to crenellate a new stone castle on a different site from the existing timber fortification.
1398 ~ The castle is completed, constructed with the requirement to function as a high status residence over defensive considerations.
1425 ~ The castle passes to Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick.
1449 ~ Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick emerges onto the political stage for King Henry VI, as one of the most powerful and influential nobles in the land.
1452 ~ Richard, Duke of York, raises a rebellion against King Henry VI. Both Warwick and his father rally to the side of the King.
1453 ~ The Lordship of Glamorgan, once part of the executed Despenser lands is granted to Somerset by King Henry VI. However Richard Neville had claim on these estates and soon open conflict erupts between the King and his most powerful noble. Later the same year the King falls ill. Somerset is a favourite of King Henry and Queen Margaret, and with the king incapacitated Somerset is virtually in complete control of government. This puts Warwick at a disadvantage in his dispute with Somerset, and in doing so drives him into collaboration with Richard, Duke of York.
1454 ~ Military defeat in France turns the royal counsillors against Somerset, who turn to Richard, Duke of York as Protector of the Realm. York could now count on the support not only of Warwick, but also of Warwick's father Salisbury. Somerset is sidelined.
1455 ~ The King's health returns sufficiently enough to enable Somerset to return to the centre of politics and inluence over the realm.
Warwick, York and Salisbury return to their estates and raise an army to march on London. The two armies clash at St Albans, resulting in the capture of the King, and the death of Warwick's arch rival Somerset.
1456 ~ Queen Margaret now resumes personal government of the realm from York, who is stood down as Protectorate of the Realm.
1459 ~ Warwick crosses over from Calais to England and makes his way north to Ludlow to meet up with Salisbury and York, but they are defeated by the King's forces at the Battle of Ludford Bridge and forced in exile.
1460 ~ The three Earls land at Sandwich in Kent and march on London. Once again the King is captured. Richard of York's attempt to usurp King Henry is rejected by Parliament and so a compromise is agreed that King Henry VI should be returned as King and only upon his death York would succeed as Lord Protector. However further conflict leads to the Battle of Wakefield, where York and his second son Edmund are killed.
Warwick's father, Salisbury is also executed the following day.
Warwick marches north to confront the King's army but is defeated and forced to flee, joining York's son Edward who has just won an important victory at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross.
Warwick and Edward hasten to London who are sympathetic to the House of York. Edward is proclaimed King Edward IV and shortly after rides north to defeat the Lancastrian army of King Henry VI at the Battle of Towton.
The Lancastrian Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, a rival to Warick in the north is also killed. Queen Margaret escapes to Scotland with King Henry and Prince Edward. King Edward IV returns to London for his coronation, whilst Warwick remains to pacify the north. With further inheritance of lands Warwick is now the richest and by far the most powerful nobel without equal in the realm.
1462 ~ Warwick negotiates a truce with Scotland whilst Queen Margaret of Anjou invades England with troops from France, and manages to take the castles of Alnwick and Bamburgh. The leaders of the Lancastrian rebellion, including Sir Ralph Percy, are pardoned and left in charge of the retaken castles, an order to placate the Lancastrians and bring the realm together. Despite this Ralph Percy raises rebellion and lays siege to Norham Castle, forcing Warwick to return north to relieve Norham Castle. This time no clemency is given, and around thirty of the rebel leaders are executed.
1464 ~ Edward IV's secret marriage to Elizabeth Woodville contributes to the growing tensions between Warwick and King Edward. The marriage of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville undermines Warwick's influence and power over the King, accusing Elizabeth and her mother of witchcraft to try and restore the power that he has lost.
1465 ~ King Henry VI is again captured. It is Warwick who escorts the fallen king to his captivity in the Tower of London.
Warwick returns from Calais with King Edward's brother George where they gather the men of Kent to join the Lancastrian rebellion in the north. Meanwhile, King Edward IV's forces are defeated at the Battle of Edgecote, where William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, is killed. The other Yorkist commander, Humphrey Stafford, is caught in flight and lynched by a mob. Later, Earl Rivers and his son John are also apprehended and murdered. With the Yorkist army now defeated, King Edward is taken under arrest by Archbishop Neville and imprisoned in Warwick Castle, and later taken north to Middleham Castle. However, it proves impossible to rule without the King, and so continuing disorder forces Warwick to release King Edward.
Warwick once more flees the country with George but are denied access to Calais, so they are forced to seek they refuge with King Louis XI of France. King Louis arranged a reconciliation between Warwick and Margaret of Anjou.
1470 ~ Warwick and George return to England and defeat King Edward's army, forcing the King to flee into exile in Holland.
King Henry VI is once more restored to the throne, with Warwick acting as the true ruler in his capacity as lieutenant.
King Edward IV returns to England, landing in Yorkshire to reclaim the throne before Warwick is able to secure French reinforcements.
King Edward is also reconciled with his brother George
1471 ~ Warwick leads a Lancastrian army against King Edward's Yorkist army. At the Battle of Barnet the Lancastrian's are defeated and Warwick is killed. King Edward then marches his army against the Lancastrian army of Queen Margaret, Jasper Twdr and Prince Edward.The two armies clash at the Battle of Tewkesbury, where the prince is killed. Soon afterwards, it is also reported that King Henry VI has died in the Tower. With the direct Lancastrian line exterminated, King Edward is able to reign safely.
1483 ~ King Edward IV dies unexpectedly with his younger brother Richard as Lord Protector for the twelve year old Edward V. However, the young King is later declared illegitimate resulting in Richard taking the throne. Sheriff Hutton Castle is now a Royal property and key to controlling King Richard III's core power base in the north of England, just thirteen miles from York, the northern capital.
Sheriff Hutton is chosen along with Sandal Castle to host the recently established 'Council of the North', a body designed to improve Royal administration in Northern England.
1485 ~ King Richard is killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Along with Richard's other properties, Sheriff Hutton passes to Henry Tudor, now King Henry VII. He retains the castle but its role is dramatically reduced when the reconstituted Council of the North move to York.
1618 ~ Sheriff Hutton Castle is sold by King Charles I to Thomas Lumsden.
1622 ~ Thomas Lumsden sells the castle to Sir Arthur Ingram, who has a mansion built, using stone plundered from the castle. The ruined castle is abandoned with its grounds eventually being used as part of a farm for the remainder of its days.