Fortifications for a wooden castle were built in the 1130s, but the present stone castle dates from the 1150s. Henry II’s massive great tower, built between 1159 and 1169, and the medieval castle walls dominate the Scarborough headland. Within the line of the castle wall are the remains of a 13th century royal residence and at the seaward tip of the headland are the combined ruins of a Roman signal station and medieval chapel.
The castle is reputedly haunted by the headless apparition of Piers Gaveston. In life, Gaveson was a close friend of King Edward II, but was regarded as arrogant and boastful, and highly unpopular amongst fellow noblemen. He was beheaded in June 1312, but it is said to return here to lure unwitting visitors over the battlements to certain death.
Pictured left is the castle keep courtesy of Stephen Montgomery.
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For further information, please read Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland by Richard Jones, Haunted Britain by Antony D. Hippisley Coxe and Britain's Haunted Heritage by J A Brooks.
Brooks makes mention of two apparitions that frequent the town, although no definite locations are provided. The first is a woman dressed in pink, believed to be Lydia Bell who was murdered in 1804.
The second ghost has haunted the town since Norman times, and is that of a black horse who appears out of a "violent thunderstorm".
For further information, please read Britain's Haunted Heritage by J A Brooks.