Skipton Castle and the History of Britain

Skipton Castle and the History of Britain

On Friday 17 April, Year 5 pupils enjoyed a fascinating trip to Skipton Castle, one of the best preserved medieval castles in England, as part of their IPC topic ‘The Time Tunnel’ which focuses on the chronological history of Britain.

Pupils were fascinated to explore every corner of the 900 year old castle with a guided tour of its banqueting hall, kitchen, drawing rooms and even the Lord’s bedchamber, followed by a climb from the depths of the Dungeon, a particular favourite of all the pupils, to the top storey of the Watch Tower. They learned about the individuals and events that have shaped the castle, from Norman times to the present day.

Studying the original watchtower, the most important feature of the castle’s defences, and walking through to the inner core of the stronghold, pupils imagined what life was like at Skipton Castle as it provided protection and security from invaders.

Prior to the visit, classroom studies had focused on examining various British historical architecture and particularly how castles, such as Skipton Castle, had evolved over time. Pupils were therefore fully prepared for the visit and impressed their guide with their understanding of the various changes to the castle; what extensions and building were added over time, and how it had evolved from a simple Motte and Bailey castle to a curtain-walled, stone keep.

Of particular interest to their studies was the castle link with the Magna Carter of 1215, as the current owner at the time, William de Forz, was one of the main signatories on the famous document.

After a relaxing lunch in the picnic area, the pupils spent the rest of the day sketching the famous landmarks of the castle including the intricate stonemasons’ carvings .