Exploding Castle

In the grounds of Castle Keep behind the Bus Station are some of the remains of Wetherby Castle. No more than a wall and a few foundation stones still remain.
The castle was built in about 1145 by the Percy family to defend a ford across the River Wharfe. It is likely to have been a simple rectangular stone tower.

In the early middle ages the castle served the Earls of Northumberland until it was passed to the Knights Templar.

In the Jacobite Rising of 1745/6 General Wade operated from Wetherby sending a flying column to intercept the Pretender.
Thomas Fairfax held the town for Parliament in the early part of the Civil War.

One Wetherby story of the Civil War concerns a troop of Royalist Cavalry who were attempting to enter the town by night. They were compelled to beat a hasty retreat believing they were under severe fire from unexpected artillery.
However, it was later discovered that no such defence was made. An accidental spark had simply caused an explosion in the gunpowder store.

Whilst only a very few of the original castle stones now remain on the site, much of the stone from the original castle is likely to have been used in building houses still to be seen in the town today.
Recycling at that time was a matter of simple convenience!

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