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Peveril Castle (Castleton)

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The castle is named after William Peverel and stands on top of the hill overlooking the village.

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      04.02.2010 18:33
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      Fantastic historical site

      We visited Peveril Castle in Castleton last May (2009) and were captivated by the view at the top. But back to the entrance... You enter the reasonable sized shop just off the village green, not far from the high street. The shop has the usual souvenirs; pencils, pens, postcards, etc. as well as some refeshments. This is where you pay, or not if you are an English Heritage member. We were able to take our dog in with us as long as we kept him on the lead which was lovely, it would have been a shame not to have been able to visit the castle.

      Anyway, up some stairs and we're out in the open again, wow, do we really have to climb all the way up there??? Yeah, it's pretty steep, there's a zigzag path all the way up to the top but thankfully there's plenty of seats to take a break and enjoy the unfolding view of the village below. When we made it to the top the view was just breathtaking, the hill called Mam Tor is just to the left, the church to the right and the rest of the village beneath. What a panorama! Let's just say we took lots of photos!

      The grounds are grass with seats around to rest. There are a few steps around but the grass is not too steep to walk up if you prefer. The castle itself is awe-inspiring. Absolutely beautiful. There's not much of it, just the tower, (which is empty) you can actually go in, via some steep spiral steps. I have to say it's much prettier on the outside!

      The way out is back down the zigzag path - much easier going down! Back through the information room which tells the story of the castle and through the shop for some goodies and now to decide what to do next!

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      03.07.2008 23:04
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      A fantastic bit of history

      I have been reviewing a lot of DVDs recently but I had to say a few words about a place I visited again the other day.
      I first went to Castleton many years ago with school, staying at the YHA in the village centre, I often looked up at the castle then but never really had any interest in going into it as I wasn't that interested in Castle at the time.
      Anyway, I was back in Castleton the other day and again noticed the Castle looming above me as I sat outside the George Hotel, eating my lunch.
      I wondered what the big attraction was with the Castle as a lot of people recommended it.
      As on my previous visits to Castleton I had been into the caverns and mines, (as I enjoy potholing and caving), so I thought why not give it a go... see the view.

      I paid the admission price in the information centre/ shop before standing at the foot of the gut wrenching hillside leading up towards the Castle, I could almost feel my lungs clenching with anticipation, (or was it fear?)
      With a shrug of the shoulders I began the hike up the winding pathway, wondering what the Castle had to offer when, or if, I made it to the top.

      After a good twenty minutes of a gentle stroll, albeit up hill, stopping on occasions to admire the views around me, I eventually reached my target and stood in admiration at the site in front of me.
      The first, and most prominent thing I saw was the Keep with its towering size dwarfing my ample figure, the rough stone looking amazing considering it age and how it has stood up to the forces of nature.

      There was one thing that spoilt the look of the Castle and that was the metal spiral staircase on the side of the towering structure, although it did take you up to a second floor, for me it made the stone Castle look damaged and slightly tacky.

      Scattered around the grounds are the remains of more of the Castle, such as the Great Hall and more.

      I spent quite some time just sitting there on the hillside, admiring the views all around me, feeling slightly small underneath the enormity of the Castle and its wonderful history.

      My only regret was having lunch BEFORE climbing the snake path to the top....



      *BRIEF HISTORY*

      Built by 1080 AD, originally to watch over the 'Royal Forest of the Peak', this excellent example of a Norman Castle lies high on the hill overlooking the historical village of Castleton in Derbyshire.

      It is Grade 1 monument which was named after William Peverel, (apparently the illegitimate son of William I?)

      It has been owned by William Peverel, King Henry the VIII and then the Duchy of Lancaster and is now in the care of the English Heritage.
      Since 1400 it has not been lived in, only used for the occasional formal function until 1480 when it was declared to be in serious decay.
      The keep was the only part still used by the mid 1500s as a courthouse and a prison, other parts of the castle were used as a hold for stray cattle.
      By the 17th century the Castle was a great ruin and totally inhabitable, apart from the birds and insects.



      **THE CASTLE TODAY**

      Once you have climbed the winding pathway up the steep hillside you are presented with what remains of a stunning historical structure.
      There is a small square which is I think called the 'Keep', then there is a wall which more or less surrounds the remains.

      The view from the Castle allows you to enjoy the gorgeous scenery of hope Valley and the Cave Dales.

      Below the Castle hillside the Castle is defended by 'Cavedale', (east), which is a collapsed cavern and a most beautiful walk up the 'Dale', and Peak Cavern, {aka 'the Devils Arse}(to the West), which is a stunning natural Cavern winding it's way underground.

      There was once a bridge spanning a steep valley, joining the castle and the hillside above Peak Cavern which was once a section of the castle ground.



      *EXTRA INFORMATION*


      Opening times vary depending upon seasonal times...

      Peak times 10 am until 6pm
      Off peak times 10 am until 5 pm

      Winter times 10 am until 4 pm.

      Closed 24th/ 25th/26th December and 1st January.
      NOTE: Last entry is approximately 30 minutes before closing.

      *ENTRANCE FEE*

      Adult: £3.70
      Children: £1.90
      Concession: £3.00
      Family Ticket: £9.30
      NOTE:
      English Heritage Members enter for Free

      *GETTING THERE*

      By road...
      On the A6187, approx. 15 miles west of Sheffield. Off the Market Place.

      Nearest train station...
      Hope, approx. 2 ½ miles.

      There are buses/coaches which run from Sheffield such as the 272 to Castleton.

      *PARKING*

      There is ample parking in and around Castleton, there is a main car park opposite the Market place and there are other smaller car parks further along the road, there is also road side parking along the road.


      *ACCESS*

      The Castle is accessed through the shop/ visitors centre at the foot of the hill, opposite the Youth Hostel Association and between some houses.

      *NOTE*

      Due to the steep climb this is not really suitable for wheelchair/pushchairs.

      *TOILETS*

      These are in the visitor centre, including disabled toilets and baby changing facilities.

      Dogs are allowed onto the Castle ground only if on a lead and under control.

      *IN CONCLUSION*

      Well worth the admission fee, especially on a sunny day, as you can enjoy the views whilst relaxing on the grassed hillside.

      The surrounding village of Castleton is a beautiful place to stay and will be remembered for ever.

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        20.02.2008 21:48
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        Dating from the 11th century Peveril Castle is an example of an English Norman Castle

        Peveril Castle is an example of a Norman Castle in the Peak District village of Castleton in Derbyshire. It stands high above the village on a hillside and can be seen from many miles around. It occupies a position, flanked by the steep slopes of Cavedale, which, geographically speaking, is a natural defensive position.

        Any visitor to this beautiful part of the Peak District National Park cannot fail to see the ruins of this Castle, as it dominates both the village itself and the surrounding valley. Today this Castle is mainly just ruins, but there is a sufficient amount of it left to give a good idea of how the Castle would have looked in its prime.

        The name of the Castle is derived from William Peveril, who was effectively the agent of William the Conquerer. He was given this role following the Norman Conquest of 1066 and Peveril Castle was just one of the many perks that was granted to him. It is thought that William Peveril was probably the illegitimate son of William.

        Construction of Peveril Castle was completed by the year 1080, although it had probably taken around a decade to build. Parts of the original building were originally made of wood, but these were quickly replaced with stone.

        By the time the Tudor period was over in 1558 the Castle had began to fall into a state of neglect and by 1650 only the keep remained in use, as a courthouse. After this time the Castle gradually became ruined until it was eventually restored in the early 1900s.

        Today, anyone visiting the Castle has to climb up a very steep hill from the village, which takes you through the Castle's visitor centre where there is an admission fee to pay. This approach however was not the access route when the Castle was in use. Instead a footpath zig-zagged up the hillside and along Cavedale ridge, where there is a steep gulley. This gulley had a wooden bridge across it which is now gone and has not been replaced.

        The modern approach to Peveril castle takes you through the remains of a 12th century gatehouse and into the main courtyard of the Castle where there are some Roman tiles. These tiles are believed to have originated from the Roman fort of Navio at nearby Brough on Noe.

        The most prominent feature of the castle today is its keep, which is still remarkably well preserved. This keep was built in 1176 and was originally over 60 feet high.

        Standing inside the courtyard it is possible to trace the outline of many of the former areas including the kitchen and the great hall.

        Peveril Castle is now under the management of English Heritage and it is free to visit if you are an English Heritage member. For non members there is a charge of £3.50 for adults, £1.80 for children or £2.60 for concessions. It is also possible to purchase a family ticket (2 adults + 2 children ) for £8.80.

        Due to the steep approach to the Castle the journey is not really suitable for wheelchair users or the infirm.

        The visitor centre located at the foot of the Castle is free to enter and this is a great place to learn about the history of the Castle. There are gifts and souvenirs on sale and guide books, plus various free leaflets that can obtained from the main reception desk. Dogs are allowed inside the visitor centre and beyond into the grounds of the Castle, providing that they are kept on a lead. There are also toilets located within the visitor centre, including ones with disabled access and baby changing facilities.

        The Castle can be visited during the following opening times:

        April 1st - April 30th: Daily between 10am and 5pm
        May 1st - Aug 31st: Daily between 10am and 6pm
        Sept 1st - Oct 31st: Daily between 10am and 5pm
        Nov 1st - Mar 31: Thursday to Monday between 10am and 4pm.
        It is closed Dec 25th, 26th and Jan 1st.

        A visit to Peveril Castle is highly recommended if you are in the area. It is a great day out and the views from the Castle are worthy of the entrance fee alone.

        Peveril Castle
        Market Place
        Castleton
        Derbyshire
        S33 8WQ

        Tel: (01433)620613
        Fax:(01793)414926

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