Scarborough Castle Henry III

Scarborough Castle Henry III

Improvements continued under Henry III (reigned 1216–1272).  By this time, Scarborough was a thriving port, and though he never visited the castle,Henry spent a considerable sum on its upkeep.  Around 1240–1250, he installed a new barbican consisting of two towers flanking the gateway, with another two towers protecting the approach.  These were completed in 1343, although have been much-modified since.

At this time, the castle was a powerful base which an unscrupulous governor could abuse: Geoffrey de Neville, who was governor for 20 years in the 13th century, used the garrison to seize port goods. Since governors were not required to reside in the castle, they often pocketed funds rather than used them for repairs.

By the mid-to-late 13th century, the defences were decaying, floorboards rotted, roof tiles were missing and armouries bare of weaponry.

Corruption continued among the castle’s custodians, who acted with impunity as the castle was outside the jurisdiction of the borough.   In the 1270s, governor William de Percy blocked the main road into Scarborough and imposed illegal tolls.