Middleham Castle Yorkshire Dales, England
Snipped from Wikipedia:
Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, in the county of North Yorkshire, England, was built by Robert Fitzrandolph, 3rd Lord of Middleham and Spennithorne, commencing in 1190. It was built near the site of an earlier motte and bailey castle. In 1270 it came into the hands of the Neville family, the most notable member of which was Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, known to history as the "Kingmaker", a leading figure in the Wars of the Roses. Following the death of Richard, Duke of York, at Wakefield in December 1460, his younger sons, George, Duke of Clarence, and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, came into Warwick's care, and both lived at Middleham with Warwick's own family. Their brother King Edward IV was imprisoned at Middleham for a short time, having been captured by Warwick in 1469. Following Warwick's death at Barnet in 1471 and Edward's restoration to the throne, his brother Richard married Anne Neville, Warwick's younger daughter, and made Middleham his main home. Their son Edward was also born at Middleham and later also died there.
Richard ascended to the throne as King Richard III, but spent little or no time at Middleham in his two-year reign. After Richard's death at Bosworth in 1485 the castle remained in royal hands until the reign of James I, when it was sold. It fell into disuse and disrepair during the 17th century. It was garrisoned during the Civil War, but saw no action. The ruins are now in the care of English Heritage.
Incidentally, it's one of the largest keeps ever (the inside, secure bit of the castle where the Lord and his family lived) and having seen quite a few, it does not fail to impress.
We got there directly when it opened - a boon on a Sunday morning because no one else had ventured out yet, so again we had it to roam to ourselves for quite sometime. I have more pics of course (I like the one where I got a shot of the original site of the castle, you can still see the motte where it was, just a bit away from this site) but if I show every photo I got, this will just turn into one of those tiresome affairs of people showing their travel photos. It almost kind of is anyway, haha :) I just love Castles.
The village of Middleham is charming - and a busy spot on the weekends. Much as in America, Sundays are for driving. We saw dozens and dozens of motorcycles out and about enjoying the twists and turns of England's lovely country roads.