Celebrations planned for 900th anniversary of Knaresborough Castle
Last updated Nov 19, 2023
Knaresborough Castle. Pic: Historic England.

North Yorkshire Council says it will explore how to celebrate the 900th anniversary of Knaresborough Castle in 2030.

The first written reference to the castle, which overlooks the River Nidd, was in 1130 during the reign of King Henry I when custodian Eustace Fitz-John spent £11 on building works.

The council will also look at how the town can mark the 255th anniversary of the Enclosure Act in 2025, after the covid lockdown prevented celebrations in 2020.

The 1770 act spelled the end of the Royal Forest of Knaresborough, which spanned a vast area west and south of the town and was a hunting forest for centuries.

It’s hoped the anniversary could be used to promote a vision to create a new community forest in north and west Yorkshire called the White Rose Forest.

Liberal Democrat councillor for Knaresborough West, Matt Walker, asked the council’s Conservative executive member for culture, Simon Myers, at a meeting this week if North Yorkshire Council would commit to celebrating the two anniversaries.

Cllr Walker is also a member of Knaresborough Town Council, which earlier this year published papers outlining its hopes to mark the two events.

In response, Cllr Myers said that North Yorkshire Council will head up a taskforce that will work with local groups and councillors in order to celebrate the anniversaries.

He added:

“Let’s see what we can do to really celebrate that and how best we can use Knaresborough Castle and its environment for the benefit of everyone in the future.”

Knaresborough Castle is owned by the Duchy of Lancaster, which is a portfolio of land, property and assets held in trust for the King.

It is leased to North Yorkshire Council and Cllr Myers confirmed that discussions are underway with the Duchy to extend the lease.

The ruined remains of the castle are open to the public and there is a charge of £3.80 for adults and £2.20 for children to enter the building.

The castle’s courthouse was converted into a council-run museum that shows aspects of the town’s history.

You can read more about the history of Knaresborough Castle here.

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