Middelham Castle is a castle partially in ruins in the northern part of Great Britain. It is in Leyburn and a bit north of York (I have googled mapped it for you here). It is quite a wonderful ruins with a lot still standing. And it is rather famous because it was the childhood home of Richard III. In the past it was referred to as the Windsor of the North.
The building of the castle begun around 1170 during the reign of Henry II and it was a permanent upgrade to an earlier Motte and Bailey that was constructed on Williams Hill about 500 yards away and about a hundred years earlier. This earlier Motte and Bailey castle was abandoned once Middleham castle was built.
I have to give a special thanks to my friend on the other side of the pond Paul H. He lives not too far from this castle and was nice enough to send them to me!
The castle is a square fortress about 250 feet on each side with a keep right in the middle. I have drawn out a rough floor plan of it right here: Middleham Castle Floorplan
The statue depicts him as a partial cockatrice which is a dragon with a roosters head.
More about the statue:
There is a little demon on his left shoulder which we presume was a pointer to the cause of his deformity? He stands upon a wild boar also referred to in heraldic terms as 'sanglier.' This he adopted as his personal badge and which we have noticed on other castles. There is also a reference to the cockatrice in Shakespeare's Richard third, IV. 54 ("Duchess of York to herself and saying of Richard - "a cockatrice hast thou hatched to the world.")
Next is access to upper tower and view of the main hall.
Placard of the Great Hall
Placard about the first castle, the Motte and Bailey
The Grain Mill
The Outer Wall
The upper level
Inside the tower
View of village
My favorite picture. This has a wonderful medieval look to it.