Skipton Castle is reputedly one of the most complete and best preserved castles in England. It may be. Not to be missed if in the area, but there are better castles to see - though the gatehouse is imposing, there is a lovely Tudor courtyard and the castle perches dramatically on a cliff above the Eller Beck. The Normans constructed a castle in wood on the site in the 11th century, later converted to stone. Skipton will always be closely associated with the Clifford family, who took ownership in 1310. During the 17th century civil war, Skipton was a Royalist stronghold and the castle was besieged, finally capitulating in 1645. It was restored by Lady Anne Clifford, who also owned castles at Brougham, Appleby and Pendragon (and others). Skipton Castle is now in private hands and also partly residential.