Spofforth was the main seat of the Percy family - one of the most important and influential families in northern England - until the late 14th century. William de Percy, a favourite of William the Conqueror, built a manor house here in the 11th century, and it was reputedly here that rebel barons drew up Magna Carta in 1215. The surviving remains are those of a fortified manor house, dating mainly from the 14th and 15th centuries.
Read more about the history of the castle.
Before You Go
Opening Times: Open 10am-6pm April to September, and 10am-4pm October to March.
Parking: Free parking is available on the roadside in the village.
How to Find it: The castle is off Castle Street, the main road through through Spofforth, off the A661.
Facilities: There are pubs and a convenience store in Spofforth.
Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.
Plan a Great Day Out
Spofforth is reputed to be the place at which Magna Carta was drawn up in 1215.
Several other nearby sites claim ties to the charter, including Byland Abbey, which once held a copy, and Helmsley Castle, founded by one of the 25 barons charged with keeping King John to the terms of the charter.
Both are around 45 minutes from Spofforth. If you're visiting Byland Abbey, make sure you stop at the tearoom at the Byland Abbey Inn.
Spofforth is around half an hour from Clifford's Tower in the city centre of York.