Today I get to talk about the most important and one of the most exciting parts of the trip, the site I’m giving a tour of. Helmsley is located in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. It is home to a place known as Hamlake, or Helmsley Castle. A top a rocky hillside overlooking the local Rye river the ruins of the impressive east tower still dominate the town’s skyline. The Castle was originally built in 1120 by a man named Walter Espec. Walter originally built his castle out of wood and had plans for two baileys and for it to be enclosed by huge earthworks. This castle was built as the center residence of his Yorkshire estates. Somewhere around 1186 the castle was converted into stone and other elements such as towers and a gateway were added at this time as well. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and during the English Civil war the grounds were besieged by Sir Thomas Fairfax for over three months in 1644. This lead to parliament deciding that the castle must be slighted in order to avoid such sieges in the future, which led to the destruction of the walls, gates , and east tower. Once in ruins it was used as a quarry, a tennis court and even a chicken run, but all this nonsense ended in 1923 when the site passed into state guardianship which has led to the restoration and up keep of much of the castle allowing us to see it in all its ruined beauty.