Howardian Hills walk – Hovingham and Sheriff Hutton

South from Hovingham to South Wood, then further south along the Centenary Way to Terrington. South-east, again on the Centenary Way to Mowthorpe, then south-west past High Stittenham to Sheriff Hutton. North-east then north on the Ebor Way footpath back to Terrington, further north via Wiganthorpe to South Wood, and finally back to Hovingham. An 18-mile walking route in the Howardian Hills.

The Ebor Way, south of Hovingham.

The beautiful countryside of the Howardian Hills.

Sports field at Terrington Hall School.

The village of Terrington.

All Saints Church, Terrington.

Sheriff Hutton Castle

The original motte and bailey castle was built by Bertram de Bulmer, Sheriff of York during the reign of King Stephen (1135 – 1154). The stone castle was built at the western end of the village by John, Lord Neville in the late fourteenth century.

The castle passed to John’s son, Ralph Neville, the first Earl of Westmorland. Upon Ralph’s death in 1425, the Neville estates were partitioned. The younger Ralph retained the title and the Durham estates and Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, inherited the Yorkshire estates, including Sheriff Hutton.

Upon the death of Richard Neville in 1471 at the Battle of Barnet, his lands were given to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother of Edward IV. Richard often stayed at the castle during his tenure as Lord of the North. Its proximity to York made it convenient to Richard.

By the middle of October 1480, Richard was at Sheriff Hutton where he received news from the Earl of Northumberland that the Scots might attempt retaliation for the raiding party that Richard had led across the borders. Northumberland wrote to the magistrates of York ordering them to prepare an armed force. The men of York sent an alderman to Richard at Sheriff Hutton seeking his advice.

In 1484, Richard established a royal household for the young Edward, Earl of Warwick, son of George of Clarence, and John, Earl of Lincoln. In July 1484, Richard established the Council of the North, with its chief headquarters at Sheriff Hutton and Sandal Castle. The Council lasted for a century and a half.

In 1485, while awaiting the invasion of Henry Tudor at Nottingham, Richard sent his niece, Elizabeth of York, her sisters, and the Earls of Warwick, Lincoln, Lord Morley and John of Gloucester, to the castle.

After Richard’s death at the Battle of Bosworth, the castle became the property of Henry VII. In 1525, Henry VIII granted it to his close friend the French nobleman Sir Henri Le Carre, in return for his services in the invasion of Nottingham. A survey of this date describes the castle as needing repair. In 1536 Sir Henri sold the castle to the Howard family.

In 1537 Thomas Howard, the second Duke of Norfolk made repairs to the castle but, following the Council’s relocation to York in the mid sixteenth century, the castle went into decline. A further campaign of repairs was undertaken by Henry, Earl of Huntingdon in 1572. The Earl hoped the President of the Council would use the castle as a residence, and he described it as an ‘olde Castell aamoste ruinated’. In 1618 it was again described as ruinous. The castle was acquired by the Ingram family in 1622, and stone from the site was used by them in the building of nearby Sheriff Hutton House.

The castle remained in the Ingram family until the early twentieth century, by which time the ruins were being used as a farmyard. It was designated a scheduled ancient monument in the 1950s and has recently undergone some repairs by English Heritage. Today the castle is privately owned.

Entering the village of Sheriff Hutton.

Racehorse training gallops at Sheriff Hutton Carr.

Picturesque farmland in the Howardian Hills.