Ripley Castle – England’s Historical Gem (History & Travel Tips)

-

A majestic site built towards the northeast of England, this 14th-century castle will blow you away with its grandeur and grace. A Grade-I listed building conserved over the years by Historic England, it is just as amazing as it was in the iconic Middle Ages. Let’s look at how it fares today:


The castle site was used as a set for a Disney movie called Escape from the Dark (1976), where it was shown to be Lord Harrogate’s residing place.

Ripley Castle in its full glory with view of the sky.
Ripley Castle in its full glory. James Dolan, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Advertisements

Frequently Asked Questions

FOR HISTORY | BEAUTIFUL IMAGES | INTERESTING FACTS | TRAVEL TIPS

Early History

Earliest Documentation (14th Century)

The castle’s rich history can be traced as far back as the acquisition of the property by Sir Thomas Ingleby, who tied the marital knot with Edeline Thwenge, a wealthy heiress. This took place in 1308 or 1309; Sir Thomas received Ripley Castle as her dowry. 

An 1820 painting of Ripley Castle.
An 1820 painting of Ripley Castle. Rev. Francis Orpen Morris;, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


Ingleby’s oldest son, also Thomas, saved the king’s life from a Eurasian Wild Pig while he was out hunting. To express gratitude, the king knighted him with an emblem that represented a wild boar’s head. The castle was passed on to Thomas’ son John Ingleby when he was just five years old. He went on to build the gatehouse of the palace,  become a prominent Catholic cleric at Mount Grace Priory, and subsequently also became the Bishop of Cardiff.

16th To 17th Centuries

The castle was then inherited by John’s son, William Ingleby, who grew up in the care of his mother who had been deserted. He made the addition of the tower to Ripley in the year 1548 and later went on to become the High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1564-65. He had two sons, both of whom were fugitives from the law for being fervent Catholics. One of them ended up receiving a death sentence while the other escaped but passed away shortly after. 

The entrance gate of Ripley Castle.
The entrance gate of Ripley Castle. Ripley Castle flickr photo by Terry Madeley shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

The next occupant of the castle was Sir William Ingilby, who was appointed by James I of England in the year 1603 and was knighted by James VI of Scotland. In the year 1605, William was accused of treason for being part of the infamous Gunpowder Plot, but allowed to go. After him, the castle passed down his successor William, and then another William, and then the latter’s son named John.

The garden inside Ripley Castle.
The garden inside Ripley Castle. Ripley Castle gardens flickr photo by Harry Wood shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

18th century onwards

Sir John had the castle renovated between 1783 and 1786 but went over budget, became indebted, and fled the country in 1784. He stayed abroad for several years, during which time his loyal steward named Ralph Robinson looked after the castle. Ralph sold timber in order to raise funds for the castle. 

After Sir John, the castle was inherited by his heir William, who then passed it on to his cousin named Henry Ingilby, as he had had no heir. The castle became the property of the 6th Baronet and has been passed on since then through the succession up till today.

A closer look of Ripley Castle tower's structure.
A closer look of Ripley Castle tower’s structure. Ripley Castle flickr photo by Terry Madeley shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Current Times

In the present day, Ripley Castle exists as the private property of the current 6th Baronet who lives there with his wife Emma. It is also open for the general public to tour. Its vast grounds and gorgeous interior are certainly worth visiting. It’s a fascinating historical destination that you can spend a wonderful day at with your family, loved ones, and children.

A panoramic view of Ripley Castle.
A panoramic view of Ripley Castle. Ripley Castle forecourt hugin flickr photo by R/DV/RS shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Interesting Ripley Castle Facts

  • Ripley Castle became one of the 142 locations in England which received a fraction of the £35-million sum from the Culture Recovery Fund in October 2021.
  • The castle was featured as the fictional Flaxton Hall in the Yorkshire TV show for children called The Flaxton Boys. 
  • The castle site was used as a set for a Disney movie called Escape from the Dark (1976), where it was shown to be Lord Harrogate’s residing place. 
  • It also was used as a set for the BBC TV show called Gunpowder (2017).

Visiting Ripley Castle – Tips and Tricks

Ripley Castle is a great tourist destination in England and if you’re in the area, then you should definitely put it on your itinerary. Here’s everything you need to know about it:

Visiting tourists on their way to Ripley Castle.
Visiting tourists on their way to Ripley Castle. Ripley Castle flickr photo by R/DV/RS shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

How to get to Ripley Castle?

The journey to Ripley Castle from London can be made super conveniently via train, bus or car. The most recommended and fastest means of public transport to get to the castle is by train via York. You’ll board the train at King’s Cross Station and get off at Harrogate, from whereon it is a 10-minute bus ride to Killinghall and then a 2 km (1.25 miles) walk to the castle. The trip will cost you between £33 and £220 ($44-$291 USD). The overall journey will take you about 4 hours, 30 minutes.

By bus, it will take you a total of 8 hours but cost you the least. You will board at London, transfer at Bradford and then get off at Killinghall, from where the castle is a 2 km (1.25 miles) walk. The journey will cost between £20 and £28 ($26-$37 USD).

Via car, the approximate fuel cost would be between £36 and £51 ($47-$67 USD) and the journey will take about 3 and a half hours. 

Ticket Prices, Visiting Hours & Travel Tips

The ticket pricing per adult is £5.00 ($6 USD). With concessions, the ticket would cost £4.00 ($4.5 USD), while children are admitted free of charge. No pre-booking is required and you can simply get your ticket on-site. 

The gardens of the castle are open every day from 10 am to 3 pm. The Boar’s Head Dining Hall is open from 10 am to 4 pm The Boar’s Head Bar can be accessed between 12 pm and 5 pm. You can visit the tearoom between 9 am to 3 pm while takeaway is open from 10 am to 3 pm.

The lake at Ripley Castle.
The lake at Ripley Castle. Lower Cascade, The Lake, Ripley Castle by Paul Buckingham, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How Long Will It Take to Tour Around?

You can explore this place in around an hour and 30 minutes.

Some words of advice and tips: 

  • Take a guided tour to enrich yourself with the castle’s fascinating history and experience the full essence of the monumental site.
     
  • Take a look around the picturesque Ripley village as well to enjoy the scenic views.
  • Toilet facilities for disabled people are available at numerous sites around the castle.
  • Wheelchair users are not recommended to tour the park walk as the surface isn’t wheelchair friendly.
  • DVD videos of the tour of rooms located up the stairs are available for disabled people to watch.

Quick Video Tour of The Main Ripley Castle Areas

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE EPIC HISTORY
Zunaira Ghazal
Zunaira Ghazal
Zunaira is an architect and designer on paper, but a writer at heart. She’s got a Bachelors in Architecture and a passion for traveling, both of which combine in her writings about timeworn castles and fortresses that have withstood the tests of time and stand proud to this day.

FOLLOW US

26,021FansLike
4,329FollowersFollow
28FollowersFollow