Ripley has been the home of the Igilby family since 1308. The first occupant was Thomas, who married the heiress of the estate and only surviving daughter of the Thweng family in the early 1300’s. Sir Thomas gained his knighthood for saving King Edward III from attack by an injured boar when hunting together in 1835, he was also granted the right to hold a weekly market at Ripley, beside what was to become Ripley Castle.
The oldest part of the mansion, a Fortified Gatehouse and Great Hall was built by Sir Thomas’s descendant Sir John Ingilby around 1450 both as a display of status and for defensive purposes. The present mansion dates from two building phases in the period from Ripley Castle stairway 1548 to 1555 by Sir William. In 1783 to 1786 another Sir John Ingilby commissioned John Carr of York to build a new house next to the fortified tower on the site of the original medieval hall. Since that time there have been few changes to the house, but improvements were made to the gardens and the estate village in the 1820’s.
Ripley Castle has extensive walled gardens a Regency conservatory and landscape designed by Capability Brown, it is also home to the National Hyacinth Collection. Although the family still reside at Ripley Castle, informative and amusing guided tours of the house as well as viewing the grounds is still available to the public.
Many other historical facts, some violent and bloodthirsty, concerning the Ingilby family are related during the guided tour, making the complete visit a very absorbing experience.
Ripley Castle Estate is situated three miles north of Harrogate on the A61.