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Scarborough Castle/Timelines

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A timeline (or several) relating to Scarborough Castle.

Click on dates for sections of the main article

c.900-500 BCE

Possible Iron Age settlements and hill fort

c.500 BCE

Bronze Age; sword unearthed at the Castle dates from this time

Fourth century CE

Roman signal station established


Anglo-Saxon chapel built


Possible settlement at Scarborough destroyed by Harald Hardrada using bonfire at the later Castle site


Henry II begins building a new stone castle, possible after demolishing William's


Work begins on the castle keep


Keep completed


William le Gros dies


King John upgrades the castle with a new curtain wall; builds the 'King's Chambers'


Most upgrades complete; keep roof repaired


Storm damages keep roof


New barbican gateway building begins under the orders of Henry III


Governorship of Geoffrey de Neville; corruption and natural wear lead to decline of Castle


Governorship of William de Percy; garrison imposes illegal tolls on the townsfolk, steals pigs


Edward I holds court at the Castle


Edward I's second court at Scarborough Castle


Edward II imprisons Scottish enemies at the Castle


Piers Gaveston awarded governorship of the Castle by Edward II and besieged by barons; town's royal priviliges revoked following Gaveston's murder


Hundred Years War: Scarborough, a centre of the wool trade, attacked several times


Castle sacked and burnt by Robert the Bruce and Sir James Douglas


Barbican completed


Henry VI orders major repairs to the Castle


Pilgrimage of Grace: Robert Aske's forces unsuccessfully try to take the Castle

April 1557

Thomas Wyatt the younger's forces take the castle disguised as peasants; Thomas Stafford executed on Tower Hill after holding the Castle for three days


Castle garrisoned against a predicted Scottish invasion during the Rising of the North; attack never comes


English Civil War: castle garrison sides with the Royalists

March 1643

Castle garrison led by Sir Hugh Cholmley; briefly loses the Castle to his cousin, Captain Browne Bushell

August 1644

Parliamentary forces reach Scarborough following Royalist defeat at Marston Moor and the fall of York; Cholmley stalls with surrender negotiations

18th February 1645

First siege of the Castle by Parliamentary forces begins

1st May 1645

Parliamentarians' Committee of Both Kingdoms orders that the Castle be taken at all costs

25th July 1645

Castle garrison surrenders following five-month siege that sees the keep partially destroyed

27th July 1648

New castle garrison goes over to the Royalist side

19th December 1648

Second siege brings Castle back under Parliamentary control; later used as a prison

April 1665 - September 1666

Imprisonment of George Fox, founder of the Quakers


Castle refortified during the Jacobite Rebellion; keep used to store gunpowder


Master Gunner's House built as accommodation


Scarborians watch a sea battle from Castle Hill between American and British ships during the American Revolutionary War


French prisoners held at the Castle during the Napoleonic Wars; permanent garrison stationed at the castle until the mid-nineteenth century

16th December 1914

Keep damaged by German warships during the Bombardment of Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool; barracks later demolished due to damage from shelling


Castle taken into public ownership by the Ministry of Works


Bronze Age sword unearthed from the site; this can be seen in the Castle's exhibition


English Heritage awarded the site