There is the slightest of possibilities that Skipton castle was commenced during or soon after King William I (1066-87) set about his Harrying of the North in 1069-70.  The castle commanded one of the few routes through the Pennines and guarded the Roman road from Ribchester to York, Skipton standing halfway between that city and Lancaster.  By Domesday in 1086 the vill of Skipton was held by the king and was recorded as waste when he acquired it and still waste in 1086.  The wasting of the vill may have occurred during the Harrying.  Attached to Skipton in 1086 were multiple other vills mainly along the valley of the Aire which would go on to form the barony of Skipton in Craven in the twelfth century.  These were Addingham, Anley [n'r Settle, held by Roger Poitou from the king], Beamsley, Bolton [Abbey], Coniston [Cold], Draughton, Embsay, Gargrave, Halton [East], Hanlith, Hellifield, [High and Low] Skibeden, Holme [House], [Little] Stainton, [Low] Snaygill, Malham, Otterburn [held by Roger Poitou from the king], Scosthorp [held by Roger Poitou from the king] and Thorlby.  Many of these lands had been held by Earl Edwin in 1066 and no doubt many were until his death in 1071, even if they had been wasted in 1069-70.

These places around Skipton probably remained in the hands of King William and his 2 kingly successor sons until 1102 when they were infeudated to a man called Robert Romiley in the aftermath of the Belleme rebellion.  It was probably he, who in the early years of King Henry I's reign, founded Skipton castle, although it has been argued that William Rufus (1087-1100) created the barony for Romiley in 1092 or soon after when he conquered Cumberland.  However, there is no evidence to support this view other than other baronies, viz Barnard Castle, Bywell, Mitford and Prudhoe may also have been founded at this time.  These castles were all well north and east of the Pennines, while Skipton was to the south and well within the boundaries of Rufus' England which had been pushed north to Carlisle in 1092.  Romiley may also have been handed the castle at Buckton on the disinheritance of Earl Roger Poitou (d.1123) in 1102.  Earl Roger Poitou (d.1123) had been lord of much of Lancaster as well as a great landholder throughout the north of England.  He had also held 2 of the lands in the new Skipton lordship at Domesday.  This might again argue for a post 1102 foundation of Skipton lordship and castle.  Robert's provenance is discussed under Buckton castle

At first glance it appears that Skipton castle is first mentioned after the Great Heathen Army defeated the English at York.  Then it was recorded that Archbishop Wulfhere of York (854-900) fled to Addingham in 867.  As an aside it was then noted that this was in Warfedale, between Otley and Skipton castle (castellum de Scipetun).  Quite obviously the castle was merely there in c.1130 when this history was written up and this fact was used to tell the everyday reader where the little known Addingham, a member of Skipton barony, was.  By the 1140s the castle constable was one Ivo Alspath.  It would seem likely that the castle fell to William Fitz Duncan (d.1152/54), the heir to the Scottish throne, in the late 1130s, possibly after the battle of Clitheroe on 10 June 1138.  The castle was certainly in existence, and probably in the hands of Fitz Duncan by 1151 when Symeon's chronicle noted:

And then the king [David] with his army confirmed William Fitz Duncan, his nephew, in the honour of Skipton and Craven (Sciptun et Crafna) and broke into the small fortress that had been built by the enemy and destroyed it after ejecting the knights.

A chaplain was resident in Skipton castle during the time of Alice Romiley (d.1187) ‘sometime lady of Skipton castle' as recorded on 5 October 1323 when it was noted that he was allowed a quarter of wheat every 12 weeks and a mark yearly at Christmas for a new robe. 

All of this evidence flies in the face of the throwaway remark in Holinshed, writing in 1577-87, that the widowed daughter [Hawise Aumale (d.1214)] of Earl William le Gros of Aumale (d.1179), the onetime lord of Scarborough castle, married thirdly,

William Fortibus [d.1195], who finished Skipton castle, which his wife's father had begun in the time of King Richard I.

However, as is shown below, there is no evidence that Earl William of Aumale (d.1179) had ever held Skipton castle, let alone that the castle had been begun in the reign of Richard I (1189-99) by the earl who had been dead 10 years, or that it was finished by William Fortibus (d.1195), or even his son, another Earl William (d.1241), as is sometimes claimed on the basis of the ‘knowledge' of Holishend, written some 400 years after the events it purported to record.  Consequently this ‘evidence' should be totally disregarded as the foundationless hearsay it undoubtedly is.  Instead it is reasonably clear that Skipton castle was founded by Robert Romiley, probably in or very soon after he received the ‘honour of Skipton' in late 1102.

On Robert's death, before 1120, his lands were divided between his 2 daughters.  The eldest was presumably Lucy who may have received the Norman lands of her father.  In the period 1181-89, King Henry II confirmed her, her husband's and her son in law's gifts to Aunay sur Oden abbey which she and her husband, Jordan Say, had founded on 15 July 1131.  These lands of Jordan Say (d.bef.1151) and Lucy (d.1156+) his wife, as confirmed by their son in law, Richard Hommet (d.1181) and his wife, Agnes [Say], included the place in which Aunay abbey was founded.  Amongst the many other places mentioned were Remilly sur Lozon (Rumilleio) as well as the English churches of Kirtlington (Curtintona) and Bicester (Bernecestriae) and the chapel of Gylva/Giuva.  Lucy had also given a meadow in Bauquay (Baucheio).  Unfortunately, other than helping with the Romiley, Say and Hommet genealogies, this does not help with deciding whether Remilly was originally a Romiley or Say holding.  In any case, the probably younger daughter, Cecily Romiley (d.1151/55), inherited the lordship of Skipton, taking it to her husband, William Meschin (d.1130/34), the lord of Egremont and younger brother of Earl Ranulf of Chester (d.1129). 

On William's death Skipton passed to his son, Ranulf Meschin, who died before 1138, the fortress then passing to his sister, who called herself Alice Romiley (d.1187).  She was married to William Fitz Duncan (d.1152/54), the nephew of King David of Scotland (d.1153) and one time heir apparent to the Scottish throne.  As the marriage seems to have taken place in or before 1138, William assumed command of the 2 English baronies immediately on the death of his brother in law, Ranulf Meschin.  While Norham castle was under siege by King David, an event that occurred after Easter (3 April 1138), William Fitz Duncan penetrated as far south as Furness abbey (Futhernesse) and Craven (Carfna) which he laid waste by fire and by sword.  Soon after this he commanded the Anglo-Scottish forces against the Stephanic knights at the battle of Clitheroe on 10 June 1138.  It would seem likely that for this action he was operating from Skipton, just under 20 miles from Clitheroe.  The Scottish forces then marched north to Carlisle.  Some 2 months after Clitheroe the Scottish army was routed at the battle of the Standard on August 1138, but William Fitz Duncan is not recorded as being there.

In the aftermath of the battle King Stephen, on 9 April 1139, allowed King David the lands he had conquered, viz Northumberland apart from Bamburgh and Newcastle on Tyne castles and the bishopric of Durham with Hexham.  Although his gains in Cumberland, Yorkshire and Lancashire were not named in the chronicle, King David was obviously allowed to keep these too.  This obviously included William Fitz Duncan's inheritance of Egremont and Skipton as the husband of Alice Romiley.  Certainly by the time of the rout of Winchester in 1141, David had ordered his men of Lancashire to allow the monks of Shrewsbury abbey to freely hold their half of Bispham (just north of Blackpool and 26 miles west of Clitheroe and 42 miles west of Skipton) and Kirkham (between Blackpool and Preston, 38 miles west-south-west of Skipton) in Lancashire.  This clearly indicated his control of the county as too did his occupation of Preston or Tulketh castle on the north bank of the Ribble.  At the same time David managed to acquire Newcastle and Bamburgh castles and continued to push south, occupying Durham and threatening York.  This threat was ended in 1149 when King Stephen replenished his garrison there and forced David and his allies to withdraw from their planned assault on the city.  For the price of his support against King Stephen, Earl Ranulf of Chester (d.1153/4) had been granted the land between Ribble and Mersey that he had claimed as his inheritance from his father. 

Meanwhile, virtually nothing is known of William Fitz Duncan's tenure of Skipton, other than he and King David had to expel various knights from a castle in the district as late as 1151. 

And then the king [David] with his army confirmed William Fitz Duncan, his nephew, in the honour of Skipton and Craven (Sciptun et Crafna) and broke into a small fortress that had been built by the enemy and destroyed it after ejecting the knights.

Quite clearly from this there was still some dispute in the region which may have involved Buckton castle some 20 miles to the south.  This, of course, was despite the fact that William had ‘died in 1147' according to the execrable Wikipedia.  William may have survived until 1153, but was last heard of with certainty in 1151 when he was at least 56.  His lands then passed to his son and heir, William Egremont.

William Egremont died, still under age, in 1163 as a ward of King Henry II (1154-89).  Although it is not certain what happened at Skipton during his minority, this and his other lands were almost certainly administered by his step-father, Alexander Fitz Gerold (d.1178).  In 1166 Alexander was recorded as holding the fee of Skipton and his knights' fees were counted at 12 old fees and 8 new, post 1135 ones.  This suggests that the honour of Skipton had increased in size during the wars of King Stephen

After and apparently in some cases before Alexander's death around June 1178, his wife's lands, each having a castle as their caput, Cockermouth, Egremont and Skipton, were parcelled out amongst her daughters.  The eldest, Amabil (d.bef.1190), had Egremont and took this to her husband, Reginald Lucy (d.1200).  The second, Cecily (d.1188+), had Skipton and took that to her husband, Earl William Le Gros of Aumale, who could therefore at most have held the castle for much less than year before his death on 20 August 1179.  The youngest, Alice (d.1215) had only half of Allerdale, which reverted to her sisters when she died childless.  Skipton and Cockermouth passed to William and Cecily's children, William (d.1196) and finally Hawise (d.1214).  Hawise had been born before 1165 and on 14 January 1179 had married Earl William Mandeville of Essex (d.1189) at Pleshey castle.  The young earl of Essex was simultaneously made earl of Aumale even though the current earl was still alive and had a son.  Perhaps this was a quid pro quo for Earl William le Gros (d.1179) acquiring Skipton and Cockermouth.

Earl William of Essex and Aumale died on 14 November 1189 at Gisors and the next year Hawise married William Fortibus of Oleron.  Richard of Devizes obviously did not like what he heard for he describes her as ‘the widow, female, but almost a man, who lacked nothing manly except manhood, with all honour was married to William Fortibus, a knight a thousand times proved in arms, with all honour by the gift of King Richard'.  In this manner Fortibus inherited his wife's title and paid £6 scutage on Skipton for 12 fees and £10 [for 20 fees] for the fee of Aumale in Yorkshire, although he was only described as William Forz and not earl of Aumale.  Despite this, he made a charter as Earl William Forz of Aumale to Pontefract priory confirming the gift of Alice Romiley (d.1187), his wife's grandmother.  Before his death Hawise bore him her only son and heir, another William Forz (d.1241).  She then married Baldwin Bethune the same year, making him earl of Aumale.  On his death in October 1212 she fined for 5,000m (£3,333 6s 8d) to have seisin of her own lands and not to have need to remarry.  Of this sum she immediately paid £1,000, although death overtook her before she could pay more of the £2,333 6s 8d still owing.  With the county of Aumale lost, Aumale became an empty title, like the earldom of York.  Despite this, Earl William Forz of Aumale (d.1241) remained a power in the land with his castles of Cockermouth, Skipsea and Skipton.

The new earl of Aumale remained loyal to the government of Henry III (1216-72), but disliked some of their policies, like the return of royal castles to government control from the constableship of the professional soldiers to whom king John (d.1216) had assigned them. William himself held 2 of these castles, Rockingham and Sauvey.  He also showed himself capable of upsetting the machinery of government in attempting to overturn the findings of the itinerant justices in Lincolnshire in 1218.  The next year, 1219, it was the turn of the sheriff of Yorkshire to state that he could not perform his business in the wapentake of Staincliff due to the attitude of the earl.  In May 1220 a formal campaign was nearly launched against Earl William before he returned the royal castles of Sauvey and Rockingham to the king.  Despite all of this, in 1221 Earl William made a half-hearted attempt at revolt.  Consequently, on 3 February 1221, the king ordered the sheriff of Lancaster, with Constable John Lacy of Chester (d.1240), Ruald Fitz Alan (d.1247) and Richard Percy (d.1244) to besiege Skipton in Craven castle.  To put this in perspective the sheriff of Westmorland, Robert Vipont [Appleby & Brougham], Roger M'lay, William Lancaster [Kendal], Thomas Multon [Egremont], Roger Montbegon (of Hornby castle, d.1226), Roger Bertram [Mitford], Richard Umfraville [Prudhoe], Hugh Bolebec, Robert Vaux (d.1237) and Adam Jeland, the senior lord of the bishop of Durham, were ordered to attack Cockermouth castle.  Similarly the sheriff of York was ordered to attack Skipsea castle with Robert Roos [Helmsley], Peter Bruce (d.1222), John Fitz Robert [Warkworth], Ranulf Fitz Robert (d.1252), Nicholas Stuteville (d.1233) and William Mowbray (d.1224).  Despite the apparent lack of forces directed towards Skipton, the campaign was rapidly brought to a close with the fall of Bytham castle, although no fighting seems to have taken place elsewhere.  On 16 May 1223, the government wrote that the knights of the honour of Lancaster had been on royal service at Skipton in Craven with the constable of Chester when the Bytham expedition took place, so they were quit of any scutage payable for the campaign.  Skipton in any case remained with the earls of Aumale, even if they did loose Bytham to the king.

The honour of Skipton remained in the hands of the next 2 Earl William's father (d.1241), son (d.1260), but not his grandson (d.bef.1269) who never reached majority.  Instead the castle and honour of Skipton passed to the Crown in 1260, initially in custody for Earl William's young heirs.  By April 1269 his only surviving daughter, Aveline Aumale (d.1274), received the rest of his estates, Cockermouth, Skipsea and Skipton, when she married Prince Edmund, the younger brother of the future Edward I (1272-1307).  In the meantime the Crown seized both Skipton and Cockermouth castles on 20 June 1260, when the king ordered both constables to deliver the castles to William le Latymer, when the constables were ‘commanded to take into the king's hands all the lands in his bailiwick late of Earl William Fortibus of Aumale, tenant in chief, deceased'.  There can be no doubt that this was done as his children were underage.  On 25 July 1262, Prince Edward (d.1307) was in control of the castle and honour, although it was clear that King Henry III (1216-72), or at least his government, was actually closely involved in the running of the barony.

After a minority of 9 years, during which her 2 remaining brothers, Thomas and William, died, Amice Aumale (born 20 January 1259) was married to Prince Edmund of Cornwall on 11 April 1269, taking all the surviving Aumale estates to him.  On her death just 5 years later at the age of 15, the king acquired the Aumale baronies from her mother, the dowager Isabella Redvers (1237-93), the widow of Earl William of Aumale (d.1260).  King Edward was still in charge of ‘Skipton, once held by the earl of Aumale and now in the king's hand' on 20 January 1280.  The castle must have been relatively well maintained for no evidence has been found for any royal expenditure on it.

On 11 May 1309, King Edward II (1307-27) granted custody of various Yorkshire lands which had fallen into the king's hands, including the castle of Skipton in Craven and the manor of Burstwick [Skipsea], to Piers Gaveston and Margaret his wife, the king's own niece, confirming a grant that had been made before 4 August 1308.  Immediately before this, the king had ordered a whole slew of royal castles fortified and guarded as late as 6 April 1308, once of which was Skipton.  This shows that the castle was thought of as defensible at this time.  The many gifts of King Edward to Piers were surrendered back to the Crown on 5 August 1309.  These included the castles of Knaresborough, Skipton, Peak, Cockermouth and Carisbrook.  In exchange for these the king granted him the earldom of Cornwall with its castle of Lydford as well as the castles of Exeter, Wallingford, Mere and Berkhamsted.  By 15 September 1309, the king had granted out Skipton and its wapentake to Earl Henry Lacy of Lincoln for 40m (£30) pa.  Then, on 16 March 1310, the king granted in fee to Robert Clifford, the lord of Appleby, Brough and Brougham, the castle of Skipton with its land worth £100 pa in exchange for lands in Monmouth and Hodenak in Gwent and for Robert performing the services for the lordship that the earl of Aumale used to do. 

Robert was killed at the Battle of Bannockburn in June 1314 and the next month an inquest was undertaken in his barony of Skipton.  This found that the barony was held in chief by the service of 11½ knights' fees and that within the castle was a free chapel of St John the Evangelist, as well as 2 water mills, a park by the castle, a court for knights and a wood called Lobbewith.  The surrounding lands were recorded as Holme, Skibden, Siglesden, Thorleby, Holden, Calder and Howe alias Hawe as well as The Forest with lodges called Drabley, Berden, Land ...., Gamylswath, Holgyll and Ungayne, a meadow in Hardhyngges and hamlets called Crokerys and Elsawe.  The castle and lordship then remained in the hands of the Cliffords until the death of John Clifford at the battle of Towton.  Skipton castle was then granted to William Stanley who exchanged it for Chirk castle, allowing Skipton to pass to Duke Richard of Gloucester, later Richard III (1483-85).  After his death at the battle of Bosworth in August 1485, Henry Clifford was restored to the family estates.

It is thought that after Henry Clifford (d.1542) was made earl of Cumberland in 1525 he upgraded Skipton castle, adding the Long Galley and the Octagonal tower by 1535 and making the place more palace than fortress.  Despite this, it was hastily fortified and garrisoned by the royalists in 1642, which resulted in a brief December siege.  Free from attack for the next 3 years the castle finally surrendered on 21 December 1645.  In 1648 it was reoccupied by royalists and on its fall was then slighted with the order given to reduce the height of its walls by a third.

In 1657 the castle's owner, Lady Anne Clifford (1589-1676), gained parliament's permission to rebuild the castle as long as it was not made defensible with any new walls, while any roofs were to be made too weak to carry cannon.  Work continued on the castle until in 1659 when she planted the current yew tree in the centre of the court to mark its completion.  Her work included the new, weak tops to the towers and the square tower in front of the gatehouse.  The castle remains largely as she left it.
The castle is set hard against the cliff falling to the north 100' down to the fast running Eller Beck which runs southwards into the River Aire which eventually runs eastwards to the River Humber.  Before the castle to the south lies the medieval town of Skipton.

Of the castle earthworks all that can be seen are the clear remains of 200' of ditch and rampart running under the modern A6131 [visible in the photo below] and curving towards the west.  This lies some 80' beyond the line of the outer ward curtain that appears to have run south from the octagonal tower of the long gallery range added to the east front of the castle inner ward.  Possibly this largely collapsed rampart and semi filled ditch was part of a town defence. 

The Outer Ward
Running alongside the north side of the A6131 is a ‘modern' wall which plainly contains reused parts of the old castle.  This is now the fortress enclosing wall to all sides but the north where the river is.  The most interesting feature of this is the 20' diameter D shaped tower [above].  This appears to lack foundations, judging by the angle it leans out from the wall, and consists of 3 distinct masonry types which are almost certainly contemporaneous, if very different in style.  At the base is a finely laid, rough ashlar of at least 5 courses, lacking any plinth.  Directly above this are 2 laid courses of ashlar followed by a chamfered plinth, 2 further courses of ashlar and a further chamfered plinth course with a roll moulded projection at its base.  Above this is a further 2 courses of ashlar masonry and then the rest consists of a well laid rubble which takes the tower up to its full height of 15'.  It would seem likely that the ashlar courses of this are stripped from some other part of the castle and reassembled here.  The same is true for the poor quality overhanging garderobe with 2 fine corbels just west of this tower.

From the D shaped tower the ‘modern curtain' runs westwards to the main gatehouse - an unusual structure, now free standing.  This is a 35' square gatetower with 4 boldly projecting 25' diameter towers at the angles.  As such it compares only with the main gatehouse at Stirling castle in Scotland.  At the base it has a similar twin plinth to the D shaped tower, but no rough ashlar base.  Above the upper projecting plinth course are some 20 courses of ashlar making up 2 storeys.  Above this is an obviously Lady Clifford rebuild as too would appear to be the gate archways.  Probably the lower courses of the gatehouse are fourteenth century, although they may even be fifteenth.  Attached to the north-west tower is a possibly later circular stair turret. 

Within the current outer ward the only feature of note is the chapel to the west, surrounded by later buildings.  Some 150' within the ward stands the boldly projecting south tower of the inner ward.  The inner ward is an angular D shape with the hall and main buildings built along the straight north side and covered by the river cliff to the north and the castle inner ward enceinte on the other 3 sides.

The Inner Ward Gatehouse
The inner ward was entered by an early twin towered gatehouse which is now grossly disfigured by Lady Anne's approach tower.  The original structure consists of 2 D shaped towers 30' in diameter.  Between them was a gate passageway, whose outer portion was much altered by Lady Anne when the new approach tower was built.  The exterior portion of the entrance is undoubtedly seventeenth century, including a stair vice built into the north-west corner of the south tower which gives access to the upper storey of the approach tower.  At the interior end of the passageway are a portcullis and 2 apparently Romanesque arches.  Of these only the first apparently carried defensive gates.  Further, the first arch of 3 rebated orders has semi-octagonal jambs rising to fine fifteenth century style capitals, while the Romanesque arches are more a third of a circle than a half round.  Finally, the rear, external wall is likely a seventeenth century rebuild, although it should be noted the rear of the gatehouse arch at Tickhill is somewhat similar to that at Skipton, but not so much the interior sides other Romanesque entrance arches.  The nearest in style to Skipton gatehouse would appear to be Exeter castle gatehouse, but even here, with its projecting capitals, the arch is semi-circular and not merely a third round. The same is true of the chevron decorated, portcullis protected Colchester and Rochester keep entrances, as well as that at Hedingham keep.  In short, there is nothing in Skipton gate passageway that may be original.  Even the portcullis grooves are suspect, set as they are in the last third of the gate passageway and ‘operated' from a chamber most certainly modified in the seventeenth century and showing no evidence of ever having housed the portcullis lifting mechanism, cf the interesting portcullis mechanism slots at Goodrich castle.  Also the portcullis is more normally set at the front of a gate passageway, unless there was also one at the front.

Externally and internally the 2 gatetowers are far from normal.  The projecting portions of the towers are no more than a quarter round, rather than boldly projecting as most gatehouses of this type are.  Perhaps the nearest gatehouses to this are the Constable's Tower at Dover and the main gatehouse at Grosmont, although Skipton has been compared to the much altered barbican gatehouses at Helmsley.  At Skipton the chambers within the towers are most irregular.  The southern chamber seems to have been totally rebuilt and has embrasures, plus an unnatural stair up through the south-east curtain.  Clearly this is all a late modification.  The northern tower may have more original features, certainly it has 2 ground floor Romanesque embrasures.  The curtain north of it is certainly not original as it totally blocks the north loop.  The stairs to the back of the tower also appear to be much more modern creations.  Those running down to the ‘dungeon' are certainly an insertion.  If this cellar with inserted vault is anything it might just be the remains of an original drawbridge pit.  On the ground level the doorways are Romanesque, but then again, so are those in the cellar.  Of the upper floor the furnishings in the south tower again seem totally rebuilt, while those of the north tower are at best suspect, the entrance via the stairs certainly being a rebuild.  There was a central mural stair from this northern level leading to the upper floor which was apparently demolished in the civil war.  Theoretically this floor would have contained the constable's chamber assuming that any of this is early medieval.

The D shaped gatetowers are faced in a fine ashlar with a sloping plinth of at least 12 courses over a chamfered external offset.  A similar chamfered offset occurs between ground and first floor level.  It seems likely that all the ashlar work is seventeenth century, as too are the crossbow loops and windows, although just possibly the singular surviving ground floor loop in the north tower is original.  As a similar style of ashlar graces the other towers of the enceinte it seems logical to assume that all the ashlar, virtually unworn, is seventeenth century work.

The Inner Ward
The rest of the medieval castle can be covered in short shrift.  Three great round towers over 30' in diameter make up the rest of the enceinte with short stretches of curtain wall between them.  The south tower is the largest and has the most pronounced projection.  This no doubt accounts for it having been dubbed the Watchtower.  Like the gatehouse it is much rebuilt, but the chamfered first floor offset seems to mark a transition between medieval and seventeenth century work.  A similar transition can be seen in the curtain east of the tower, but much lower down, the seventeenth century work having much more red sandstone in it.  The next tower east has been cut down to curtain level and shows a similar state of rebuilding as its neighbour.  Under the seventeenth century windows in these towers are remnants of the original long, oilletless loops.  From this tower the curtain ran north to the north-east tower which is now encased in the later works which run along the cliff edge to the octagonal tower.

The north-east tower appears to have been roughly the same size as the Watchtower, but has a curved mural passageway running around its north side leading to a rectangular garderobe turret overhanging the gorge.  Possibly this was the keep of the castle.  A castle with large round towers making up the ward similarly to this exists at Alnwick and possibly also at Cilgerran.  During renovations of the castle 5 early pennies of Edward I minted at London, Bristol, Lincoln, Berwick on Tweed and Dublin were found in the drawbar slot of this tower.  The coins, dated to 1285 to 1300, suggests that the castle towers were standing before 1307 when such Edwardian coins would have been withdrawn and reissued as coins of Edward II.  Therefore it appears unlikely that any of the medieval castle was the work of Robert Clifford (lord of Skipton from 1310 to 1314) and his descendants as is so regularly proclaimed.


Copyright©2021 Paul Martin Remfry