Danby Castle

History

The castle was constructed in the 14th century by the Latimer family, whose members included some of the most powerful nobles of medieval England. 

It was built to replace an earlier castle at Castleton which was destroyed by fire and it is said that some of the stone was used to build Danby Castle.

Danby was a quadrangular castle – a rectangular building with a central courtyard and towers at each corner.

At the end of the 14th century  the Latimer family had no more heirs and the estate passed to the Neville family who were descendants of Elizabeth Latimer. Elizabeth was married to John, 3rd Baron Neville of Raby.

After John Neville died Elizabeth controlled the estate until her own death in 1396 at which time the estate was passed to her son, also named John. He took control of the estates when he came of age in 1400.

In the 16th century John Neville married Catherine Parr as his third wife and their marital home was Danby Castle. Catherine Parr later became the 6th wife of Henry VIII.

The Estate was then passed to the Danvers family, Sir Henry Danvers becoming the Earl of Danby. In the 17th century Danby was bought by John Dawnay and the Estate remained with the Dawnay family since then.

Danby Castle now stands partly in ruins. It is reputed to be one of the earliest examples of a fortified but principally domestic castle. Three of the four towers still exist in some form, the two northern towers as ruins, the south-eastern as part of the modern farmhouse. The south wing also survives intact.

The South-East tower of the old mansion still remains. A farmhouse and farm buildings were added. Repairs were made in the 19th century and the South Range was restored circa 1960.

The South range of the Castle was converted into a manorial Courthouse with the former private chamber being divided into a Court Room which is now used as a wedding ceremony room.