The property of Middleham was given to Alan the Red, 1st Lord Richmond, in 1069, by William the Conqueror as a gift for his support during the Norman Invasion of England. The castle was originally the classic 11th century wooden “motte and bailey”. In 1084, Alan gave the castle to his brother, Rinbald. Robert Fitzranulph, Rinbald’s grandson, built a stone keep 400 meters away from the original motte and bailey and established the castle’s modern site.In 1270, Middleham fell into the hands of the powerful Neville family. The most famous of the Neville clan to call Middleham castle his home was Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, better known as “The Kingmaker”, a wild card of a man and a powerful figure during the Wars of the Roses. In Middleham, Richard, Duke of Gloucester (Future King Richard III), was raised under the wings of the Kingmaker whose daughter, Anne Neville, would marry. After Warwick’s death at the hands of Yorkist soldiers, Richard would inherit Middleham Castle and make it his primary residence until his ascendancy as king. Since, Richard III’s reign, Middleham passed through the royals until James I of England and VI of Scotland gave it to Sir Henry Linley in 1604. The Castle would serve as a garrison during the English Civil War. It would be given to the Wood family where it was put in disrepair. Since 1984, English Heritage has ensured that the castle be put back under care.
The Center of the Castle contains a Norman style stone keep, which is still one of the biggest in the British Isles. The keep contained a Great Hall, which was used for ceremonial, administrative, and entertainment purposes for the residents. The curtain walls, though originally were created for the defense of the castle, was also used to house the ear with various latrines, staircases, and windows.