Clitheroe, Lancashire, England

To continue Lancashire Day I have also brought forwards our day trip to Clitheroe, a lovely Lancashire Town famous for it’s castle. Enjoy!


Status: Ribble Valley District, Lancashire, Town, England

Date: 03/09/2013

Travel: Northern Rail (Preston – Blackburn), Northern Rail (Blackburn – Clitheroe)

Eating & Sleeping: Castle Cafe, Tesco

Attractions: Clitheroe Castle, War Memorial, Town Hall, Market Streets, Parliament Spire, Pendle Hill, River Ribble


The main landmark in the town is Clitheroe Castle, situated atop a small hill near the town centre, only a few minutes away from the town hall and library. The castle is reported to be one of the smallest Norman Keeps in the country. Historic Lancashire bordered Yorkshire near Clitheroe so it was an important defensive position.

There is a large hole in the side of one wall, with legends saying the devil himself threw a large boulder at it from nearby Pendle Hill and created the hole, but in reality it was in 1649 that the Government had a hole made in the castle so that it wouldn’t be viable enough for an enemy to use it against them or for it to be so expensive it couldn’t be kept.

Some sources say that the castle was built back in 1066, around the time of the Vikings. In one of the buildings that accompany the castle there is a cafe, and the Castle Museum in the Stewards House. The castle itself is free to enter and explore the main keep as well as the surrounding walls.

It can be seen from most places in the town, and is a great site up on the hill. The impressive Pendle Hill can be seen in full from the top of the castle.


There are a few artefacts situated around the castle, with a war memorial just below it, and this spire further down in the castle gardens.

This spire is from the Palace of Westminster in London (between 1840 – 1854) and is an original spire from the top of the building. It was gifted to Clitheroe in 1937 to commemorate the coronation of King George VI, by Captain Sir William Brass, MP. It forms part of the Rose Garden which also contains a number of sculptures and is down a few flights of stairs from the main castle.


This is a view up the high street with the castle on the hill at the far end. It is a traditional town with bunting up and old buildings and houses down the streets.This is the market area of the town and includes the library and the very small building that acts at the town hall. Just behind all of these are the council offices of Ribble Valley District Council, of which Clitheroe is the district town.


Further up the street is the church of St Mary Magdalene (built in at least the 15th century), which was shut when we visited but its an impressive building from outside. We passed another large church on our way down to the River Ribble out of the town centre, which was called St James church.


The River Ribble originates in Yorkshire then passes into Lancashire around Clitheroe and then through to Preston and out to sea. I even had a bit of a paddle, its not very deep here and you can walk all the way across if you really want but the further out you go the stronger the current is. A bridge is visible at the back, which is a nice old bridge used to enter the town from this side. Next to this part of the river is a small part and it contains a miniature railway but that was also shut when we went, probably as we went out of season.

Clitheroe is perfect for a day out, and the castle is quite prominent in Lancashire as aside from Lancaster Castle there aren’t that many castles in the county. We enjoyed our day there, and I knew what to look out for as I had been once on a school trip.


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