The medieval fortifications of Ripley Castle were built to provide protection from marauding Scots, but later baronets added a tower and a mansion house. Continental influences from the family’s grand tours are reflected in the Venetian chandeliers and the Italian plasterwork ceilings and statuary. Most fascinating of all are the tower rooms: the library, with its huge table, 5,000 books and the 1386 foundation charter of Mount Grace Priory; above it, the Tower Room, with a fabulous plasterwork ceiling, where James I slept in 1603; and, on the third storey, the gem of the castle, the perfectly preserved Knight’s Chamber of 1555. The colourful and eccentric Ingilbys have lived at Ripley Castle since the 1320s, when Thomas Ingilby married Edeline Thweng, heiress to the estate. Thomas saved the life of Edward III when he was attacked by a wounded boar while hunting, and was rewarded with a knighthood, but the Ingilby’s Catholicism later cost them dear. Sir William joined the conspirators in the ‘Pilgrimage of Grace’ and was saved from execution by Henry VIII only because he had advised against taking action. His son, Francis, trained as a Jesuit priest in the seminary at Rheims, returning to England in 1584; captured two years later, he was convicted of treason and hung, drawn and quartered at York. Beatified in 1987, he is the only Ingilby likely to become a saint. His brother William narrowly avoided execution for treason when he was unjustly implicated in the Gunpowder Plot. Loyalty to the Crown proved equally hazardous: Sir William was fined over £700 for ‘delinquency’ in supporting Charles I during the Civil War, and his son briefly fled into exile with James II.
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Facilities – at a glance
Assist dogs allowed
- Parking onsite
- Parking nearby
- Two castle rooms on view are upstairs
- Facilities: Mobility buggy for hire, audio loop
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Gardens open daily 9-5, winter 9-4 (last entry 30mins prior to close); Castle open Jan-Feb & Dec for pre-booked tours only; Mar, wknds only, tours at 11, 12.30 & 2; Apr-Sep daily; Oct-Nov, wknds only (daily in Oct half term)
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About The area
Discover North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire, with its two National Parks and two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is England’s largest county and one of the most rural. This is prime walking country, from the heather-clad heights of the North York Moors to the limestone country that is so typical of the Yorkshire Dales – a place of contrasts and discoveries, of history and legend.
The coastline offers its own treasures, from the fishing villages of Staithes and Robin Hood Bay to Scarborough, one time Regency spa and Victorian bathing resort. In the 1890s, the quaint but bustling town of Whitby provided inspiration for Bram Stoker, who set much of his novel, Dracula, in the town. Wizarding enthusiasts head to the village of Goathland, which is the setting for the Hogwarts Express stop at Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films.
York is a city of immense historical significance. It was capital of the British province under the Romans in AD 71, a Viking settlement in the 10th century, and in the Middle Ages its prosperity depended on the wool trade. Its city walls date from the 14th century and are among the finest in Europe. However, the gothic Minster, built between 1220 and 1470, is York’s crowning glory.
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