Tickhill is a large village located in South Yorkshire, close to the limit with Nottinghamshire. It is now a quiet and remote place, but in the Middle Ages it was a thriving town on the Great North Road, which linked Scotland to London.
From the epoch of the Great North Road, Tickhill retains a few old houses and St Leonard’s Hospital, a 15th-century half-timbered building. It can be found next to the Market Place, on which is a nice 18th-century Market Cross.
The church is also medieval and it shows the importance Tickhill had in those days. It is tall and wide. The interior is opened by large windows which provide a lot of light. It contains a 14th-century tomb, belonging to the local lords.
The most important landmark in the village is Tickhill Castle, which is only open one day per year. The rest of the time, it is a private property and visitors can only appreciate its walls from the outside. Each year, the open day is quite an event for the local area. Hundreds of people come to enjoy the courtyard and the path along the walls, and attend the various shows, including a knights duel.
The castle was partly destroyed and there is not much to actually see. There is still however a large mound which dates from Norman times. Henry II built a wooden keep on it but nothing remains of it. The outer walls of the castle were built in the 12th century. The castle is usually open one Sunday afternoon per year (in June). Full-price admission is at £4. Check the Twitter account for information about open days.
If you enjoyed visiting Tickhill, you can extend your day trip by making a stop at Bawtry, a small town located some 9 mi east of Tickhill. It was another famous stop on the Great North Road so it is quite similar in atmosphere. Although it never had a castle as in Tickhill, Bawtry lasted longer as a stopping point for coaches travelling the route to Scotland. As a result, the architecture is more recent and most of the old houses are Georgian. The main street is very wide and many buildings around it are former coaching inns. Bawtry has quite a unusual look for South Yorkshire, as this kind of town is more common in North Yorkshire (for instance Northallerton, Thirsk, Easingwold, Yarm). Bawtry is served by buses – 21, 25, 98, 99 among others, making it easy to reach from Doncaster.