Tucked away in the historic market town of Clitheroe lies one of Lancashire’s most iconic landmarks, Clitheroe Castle. Perched on a natural limestone hill, it provides a mesmerising skyline for the town, a reminder of a time when knights and nobles roamed the English countryside.
The castle’s roots trace back to the Norman Conquest. Built in the 12th century, it stands as one of the oldest Norman keeps in England.
Its historical significance cannot be understated, acting as a sentinel overlooking the Ribble Valley for nearly 900 years. Through centuries, it has witnessed battles, changes in monarchies, and the evolution of the very landscape it dominates.
A Parkland Retreat
Spread across 16 acres, the grounds surrounding Clitheroe Castle offer an urban oasis. Beautifully manicured gardens with seasonal blooms provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and picnics.
Meandering paths invite visitors to take leisurely strolls, revealing quaint corners and vantage points that afford breathtaking views of the surrounding Ribble Valley.
For families, there’s no shortage of activities. Play areas keep the young ones engaged while adults can revel in the beauty of the rose garden or take a tranquil moment by the pond.
The parkland also plays host to various events, from open-air theatre performances to local fairs, making each visit a potential new experience.
Inside The Keep
While the exterior of Clitheroe Castle is undeniably striking, the inside holds its own trove of treasures. The Clitheroe Castle Museum, housed within the keep, offers an immersive journey through time.
Here, the castle’s story unfolds. From its strategic importance in medieval England to tales of the families who once called it home, the museum paints a vivid picture of Lancashire’s storied past.
Interactive exhibits cater to visitors of all ages. Children can explore reconstructions of ancient living quarters, while adults can delve into the rich tapestry of local history, encompassing geology, archaeology, and folklore.
One of the standout exhibits revolves around the legend of the Pendle Witches, a haunting chapter in the area’s history that still captures the imagination.
Workshops and Events
For those keen on a more hands-on experience, Clitheroe Castle doesn’t disappoint. Throughout the year, the castle and museum play host to a plethora of workshops, guided tours, and special events.
From historical re-enactments that transport visitors back to the Middle Ages to craft workshops where you can create your own medieval-inspired art, there’s always something happening within these ancient walls.
While the charm of Clitheroe Castle lies in its history, modern amenities ensure a comfortable visit. On-site cafes offer a selection of local delicacies and refreshments, ideal for a mid-visit break. Gift shops are replete with unique souvenirs to remember your journey through Lancashire’s past.
Accessibility is also a priority. Thoughtful signage, well-maintained paths, and facilities for those with disabilities make Clitheroe Castle an inclusive destination.
Centrepiece to Any Lancashire Holiday
Positioned in the heart of Clitheroe, the castle also serves as an excellent starting point to explore the broader Ribble Valley. Couple this with its fascinating history and you’ve got yourself a must-visit Lancashire visitor attraction.
Address – Castle Hill, Castle Street, Clitheroe, BB7 1BA
Telephone – 01200 424 568
Website – https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/clitheroe-castle-museum