The Abandoned Yorkshire Hamlet That’s Been Plagued By A Dark Secret For Centuries

The Abandoned Yorkshire Hamlet That’s Been Plagued By A Dark Secret For Centuries

Never heard of the hamlet of Whorlton? We’re hardly surprised, given its inhabitants mysteriously vanished hundreds of years ago now, leaving the pretty corner of Yorkshire completely abandoned.

Located right on the edge of the North York Moors near Swainby and Northallerton, the ghost town was once a humble place to live complete with its own castle, church and graveyard – but today, the place is nothing but crumbling remains. And there’s a pretty dark reason as to why.

Credit: Photo © Stephen McCulloch (cc-by-sa/2.0)

According to history buffs, many of Whorlton’s residents perished at the hands of the Black Death, while it’s assumed others fleed in a bid to survive the epidemic.

As a result, by 1343, the once beautiful Whorlton Castle had become a ruin, leading to its eventual disintegration and ruinous appearance that can still be seen to this day.

Other theories suggest that villagers moved to nearby Swainby in search of work, thanks to its waterside location which would have helped with its mining efforts.

One of few remaining pieces of Whorlton’s past, the castle was originally built in the 12th century as a motte and bailey Norman castle – and even has Royal connections connecting it to Mary Queen of Scots.

Credit: Photo © Colin Grice (cc-by-sa/2.0)

It is said that there, at Whorlton Castle, Mary’s aunty The Countess of Lennox lived, and even proposed to marriage between Mary and eventual husband Henry Stuart from that very castle.

In addition to the castle, guests can also still see the keep and gatehouse – which was added to the castle in the 14th century – alongside the village’s old parish church and graveyard which have been left to crumble.

The church was also constructed in the 12th century, with only few arches and a tower remaining. Other remains include earthworks – including terraced platforms and ditches – and reportedly, the castle’s cellars. however, no residences remain.

To this day, Whorlton remains abandoned, and has restricted access due to increased vandalism over the years.

[Featured image: Photo © Mick Garratt (cc-by-sa/2.0)]

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