Creative Writing at Sandal Castle

The Site Itself

Earthworks for the first castle were raised in around 1100AD to provide a place of defence for the new Norman Lord of Wakefield, the Earl Warenne. Since then the castle has been rebuilt and improved, with the walls changing from a wooden palisade to that of stone.


In 1460, during the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Wakefield was fought outside the castle. Richard Duke of York, who owned Sandal Castle, was killed on 30th December 1460 by Lancastrian opponents led by Lord Clifford.


Though the castle was used extensively in the 1480s, the death of Richard III meant that the castle was left to his Constable. In the 1560s a survey of the castle showed that it was largely derelict, and in 1645 most of the castle was pulled down after the Royalists surrendered the castle.


The ruins of the castle were excavated between 1964 and 1973 and the overgrown stonework was revealed.


From the top of the ruined motte or tower there are views over Wakefield including Pugney's Water Park, Emley Moor Radio Mast, and Ferrybridge Power Station.


Download a brief outline chronology of Sandal Castle using the 'Worksheets' link below.

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