Helmsley Castle from the air
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aerial photograph of Helmsley Castle Yorkshire England UK . Helmsley Castle was first constructed as a timber castle starting in the year 1120 AD, but by the end of the 12th century the castle had been rebuilt in stone. The castle was continually improved during the medieval period including building the Barbican in 1285 . The castle was visited by King Edward III in 1334. In 1478 the castle was bought by Richard, Duke of Gloucester who later became Richard III. He retained it until his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1644, during the English Civil War, Helmsley Castle was besieged by Parliamentarian forces under Sir Thomas Fairfax . Following the war Parliament ordered all unnecessary castles to be slighted and most of the defensive structures were removed, however it retained it accommodation structures and continued to exist as a mansion house until it was eventually abandoned in the 18th century. Today its under the care of English Heritage.