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Bolton Castle

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Bolton Castle Summary


Bolton Castle Description

Bolton Castle is an exceptional place in so many ways. The rolling Wensleydale hills provide a stirring background to a proud castle that can be seen for miles around and was clearly built for domination.

We may find that a rather daunting proposition nowadays, but it is a vital part of our history, and the displaying of that history and its progression into the 21st century, in a way that can be fully understood, is what Bolton Castle does so well.

The Castle escapes the trap of becoming a sort of domestic museum and tells it as it was, and now is. Completed in 1399 by Sir Richard le Scrope, Chancellor of England to King Richard II, it is a robust example of the times. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned here, during the Civil War it was besieged, its ancient stones speak of centuries of wild weather.

About one third of the castle’s rooms are intact, and the remainder are almost completely accessible, providing a window into the turbulent past of this fortress that gradually followed the times into calmer waters. The old kitchens, the dungeon, a Solar, Nursery, Armoury, Great Chamber and Mary, Queen of Scots’s bedchamber all tell their own tales and are furnished in a manner that brings the past alive.

The sights, sounds, smells and artefacts of life from that past are all invoked and visitors speak, sometimes in awe, of their feeling that rooms they enter still bear tangible evidence of very recent occupation by those who have gone before.


School visits find Bolton Castle a wonderful place in which to bring history alive, as they watch the falconry displays, sample the food their long ago ancestors were familiar with, and pick up on the numerous activities that suit their school syllabus. Adaptation is an art for the staff at Bolton, and every care is taken to ensure that history remains credible.

Weddings and Events

The opportunity to make your wedding day even more special is often to be found in historical buildings. Each have their own specialities and at Bolton Castle the Castle’s heir, Tom Orde-Powlett, trains owls to fly wedding rings down the aisle to waiting brides and grooms, though this is, of course, not obligatory, and they do have a host of more traditional wedding customs and wishes which they are well used to satisfying. Further details of weddings at this historic property can be found on their own Website.

The Tea Room

A cornucopia of wonderful tastes and dishes, specialising in seriously indulgent home baking are a feature of the Tea Room, heated by a huge log burner when needs must. If you prefer a little Arcadian privacy they will make up a hamper for you. A wonderful place for parties and special celebrations where Yorkshire hospitality predominates.

The Gardens

In 1260 the writer Albertus Magnus described the plants used in a medieval pleasure garden. They might, he said, ”refresh the sight with the variety of their flowers and . . . cause admiration at their manly forms in those who look at they”. The gardens at Bolton Castle have been renewed and rebuilt bearing those principles in mind, and the results are enchanting.

Opening Times

  • Open daily 10am – 4pm from 15th February until Friday 4th April 2014. Then open daily 10am-5pm from 5th April until 2nd November 2014
  • Please note we will close early on the following dates (usually Saturdays) due to weddings.Our last entry will be at 1pm and we will close at 2pm on: 26th April and 10th May.

Daily Activities

10.00 Castle opens
10.30 Archery demonstration and Children have a Go! (Courtyard)
11.00 Owl Display (Courtyard)
14.00 Flying Display (Garden)
15.00 Archery Demonstration and Children have a Go! (Courtyard)
16.30 Wild Boar Feeding (Boar Park)
16.30 Last Admission
17.00 Castle Closes

Throughout the day we also have:
Trails, Childrens’ Costumes, Caligraphy, Medieval Games and Traditional Crafts

Season Tickets

Purchase as season ticket giving you unlimited visits to the Castle, Gardens and Grounds. Tickets available for Castle and Gardens or Gardens only and for individuals, couples and various family groups. Local Residents Season Tickets, visitors living in the DL8 postcode area now have the fantastic opportunity to pay once and visit for a full year. Please ask at admission desk on arrival. Visitors must provide proof of address to qualify for this offer.

Admission Prices

Adult - £8.50
Child - £7.00 (students and children 5-18)
Seniors - £7.00
Group price - £7.50

Gardens Only
(includes Boar Park, Falconry flying display, birds on weather, bee observation hive children’s trail, local rare breed sheep including Wensleydales)

  • Adults: £3
  • Concessions: £2 (Over 60s’, students and children aged 5-18)
  • Family: £10.00 (2 adults and up to 3 concessions which must include at least 1 child)

Groups welcome (minimum 15 people)

Further information including opening times and prices

Your Reviews of Bolton Castle

Anon (16 August 2006)

I love this castle, it has kept many of its original features. Has a real medieval feel. And special event days are really fun for young and old. I will visit it time and time again.

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Additional Info for Bolton Castle

  • YesGardens
  • YesGroups
  • YesWeddings
  • YesEducation
  • YesRefreshments
  • YesPicnics
  • YesGuides
  • YesMeals Available
  • YesFilming
  • YesGifts
  • YesLive Entertainment
  • YesShop
  • YesCar Parking

Heritage Groups

  • YesHistoric Houses Association

Credit Cards Accepted

  • YesMastercard
  • YesVisa
  • YesSwitch
  • YesJCB

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