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Castle of the Peaks | by Paul 'Tuna' Turner
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Castle of the Peaks

The 12th century keep inside Peveril Castle, with the Peak District in the background.

 

The dramatically-sited ruins of Peveril Castle stand high on the hills above Castleton, with magnificent views over the Hope Valley in the heart of England’s Peak District.

 

Built following the Norman conquest of England in 1066 by William Peveril, one of William the Conqueror’s knights, it takes advantage of the steeps slopes on three sides of the walls.

 

The castle had stone walls from the outset and was expanded by king Henry II after it passed into royal hands in 1155AD, with the large stone keep part of the expansion.

 

Peveril – which was originally known as Catsle Peak, only to later take on the name of its builder – stayed in royal hands for 200 years, with the town down below which bears its name growing up around it over the following centuries, first being documented in 1196. A special path up the side of the hill was made from the town below.

 

The castle was the centre of governance in the area, being given to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and his heirs from 1372 and playing host to local courts for many centuries.

 

It fell into ruin and was taken into the care of the state in 1932, with English Heritage now looking after the ruins, including the keep, the walls and even a garderobe (a medieval toilet).

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Taken on June 25, 2010