On a visit to Knaresborough Castle you can explore the remains of the King's Tower with its eerie dungeon and climb the winding staircase to the upper chamber - imagine kneeling before the king in this lavish hall with its stained glass windows, rich tapestries and roaring fires!
A stroll around the castle grounds, following our information signboards, gives you a sense of the former grandeur of this important northern fortress. As you enjoy the stunning view down to the river Nidd you will appreciate just what a superb defensive site this must have been. The ruined towers of the great East Gate give a just glimpse of the castle's once impenetrable fortifications.
Join one of our knowledgeable guides on a tour to discover the sallyport, a secret tunnel leading under the castle walls which would have been known only to trusted few.
Take an audio tour of the castle
Be transported back to how the castle would have appeared in the Middle Ages and discover what life in the castle would have been like. Hear of the grand chamber where royal residents would have greeted their guests. Discover the Medieval graffiti, a secret underground tunnel and much more, before finding out about the fate of the castle following the Civil War.
The Courthouse Museum tells the story of Knaresborough and many of its colourful residents. Explore our brand new displays about 17th century life and learn about Knaresborough's role in the English Civil War. See the shirt worn by the Royalist Sir Henry Slingsby on the day of his execution, as well as armour and weapons.
Meet a cast of Knaresborough characters such as John Metcalfe - Blind Jack - who lost his sight at 6 years old due to smallpox yet built over 180 miles of roads across Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 18th century. Discover Guy Fawkes' connection to the area and uncover the intrigue of the 18th century Eugene Aram murder case.
The Courthouse still contains its original Tudor courtroom with oak table and fittings. It is a rare survival, one of only two or three in the country. You can imagine the Steward seated on the 'bench' and see the trap door in the floor through which prisoners were led into the dock to stand trial for local crimes. Will you try out the punishment stocks for yourself?
Discover what castle life was like in our hands-on gallery. You can dress up, play games, make brass rubbings and try our activity trails.
In the Courthouse Museum you can enjoy a selection of portraits and landscapes from Harrogate Borough Council's Fine Art Collection.
Have a go at putting or bowling or enjoy a band concert.
Knaresborough Castle and Museum
The castle and Courthouse Museum are now closed throughout the winter months, reopening on Monday 29 March 2021. The castle grounds are open all year round, 24 hours a day.Address: