Ripley Castle

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House, and also as a Certain Pele Tower

There are major building remains

NameRipley Castle
Alternative NamesRippley
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishRipley

Large house. A mid C16 tower built for Sir William Ingilby, and ranges of 1783-86 for Sir John Ingilby, by William Belwood. Coursed squared gritstone and ashlar with grey slate and stone slate roofs. Plan: the C16 tower of 3 storeys and 1 x 2 bays stands at the south-west corner as a projecting wing to a 2-storey 4 x 3-bay block; the tower is balanced by a 3-storey 3 x 3-bay projecting wing on the south-east corner of this block and an L-shaped kitchen and service wing which projects to the north (2 bays) and east (3 bays, linking to the courtyard ranges, qv). The C16 tower, south front: a horizontal board door, left, in a shallow pointed-arched doorway with moulded surround and spandrels; a mullion and transom window of 3 round- headed lights with a hoodmould to right,restored below transom level; a corbelled chimney stack projects at first floor, right; a narrow stair window to first and second floors, left. Diagonal buttresses; slightly projecting crenellated parapets on each side of the tower, a stair turret rises above parapet level left and has similar crenellations; 4 tall square stacks also crenellated. The rear (north) wall of the tower is incorporated into the C18 structure. Interior: the south-west tower contains much original mid C16 panelling and early C17 plasterwork. The ground-floor library was entered from the south-west corner in the base of the stair turret which contains a stone newel staircase; the first-floor room was originally divided into an antechamber and inner room, both rooms being heated by fine Tudor-arched fireplaces; the walls have square oak panelling, the ceiling has fine plaster decoration: the underside of the beams ornamented in high relief with friezes of maize and pomegranites in foliage, the panels between divided by mouldings into geometric shapes containing coats of arm, crowned heads and lions

The upper room has early panelling composed of vertical plants set in a square framework; to right of the stair door a hidden door opens inwards into a crudely excavated recess dug out of the wall structure, probably a hide away. C17 fragments of a carved wooden frieze mounted on the wall include one in situ, dated 1555 and the remains of 3 or 4 more in Latin and English, including the Ingilby motto, Mon Droit and the date 1549. The roof is ceiled with planks fastened behind moulded purlins and ridge to form a wide waggon-roof construction. The Ingilby family had estates in Lincolnshire when Thomas Ingilby married Edeline Thweng in 1320. The medieval buildings were recorded in 4 painting in cl780 and followed approximately the lines of the C18 house; the west walls of the entrance hall and the north and east walls of the Morning Room are thought to be the fabric of the earlier hall. Sir William Ingilby was Treasurer of Berwick in 1557 and spent much of his time in the Borders during the 1540's and 50's during a period of extensive political upheaval. The tower reflects the style of building in that area at that time, although the existing openings do not suggest a defensive purpose. The plasterwork in the first-floor room dates from 1603 when King James II of Scotland stayed at the castle on the way to his coronation as James I of England. Sir John Ingilby undertook the transformation of the medieval buildings with some regret at the destruction of the ancient house; the Gothick style of the exterior reflects his and Belwood's interest but the interior is Classical in the style of the time. (Listed Building Report)

Ripley Castle has a short tower block which represents probably the whole of the original house, dating from 1548-55. The rest of the house was rebuilt c. 1780, but the gatehouse is of 15th century date. (PastScape ref. Pevsner)

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE282605
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Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

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  • Turner, Maurice, 2004, Yorkshire Castles: Exploring Historic Yorkshire (Otley: Westbury Publishing) p. 245
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 81
  • Ingham, Bernard, 2001, Bernard Ingham's Yorkshire Castles (Dalesman) p. 90-1
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 307
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 534 (rejected as not military)
  • Ryder, P.F., 1982 (paperback edn 1992), The Medieval Buildings of Yorkshire (Ash Grove Book) p. 87-107
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 286
  • Pevsner, N., 1967; revised by Enid Radcliffe, Buildings of England: Yorkshire: West Riding (London) p. 402
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 248-9 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 211 online copy



  • Low, J., 1984, 'William Belwood, Architect and Surveyor' Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 56 p. 148-51
  • Hussey, 1932, Country Life Vol. 72 p. 182-8, 210-16

Guide Books

  • (Ingillby, Thomas), n.d. (c. 1986), Ripley Castle (York City Printers)
  • Anon, n.d., Ripley Castle, Yorkshire (Derby: English Life Publications)