- Standing over 900 feet above sea level Castle Hill dominates the local landscape, providing spectacular, often windswept views.
The site is a scheduled ancient monument. More information about its history can be found in displays at Tolson Museum.
Victoria Tower is open to the public on certain days of the year. Opening hours: 12 noon to 4.30pm
Opening dates in 2013 are:
Every day from 30th March to 14th April
Each Saturday and Sunday from 20th April to 19th May plus May Day Bank Holiday.
Every day from 25th May to 2nd June
Each Saturday and Sunday from 8 June until 14th July
Every day from 20th July to 1st September
Each Saturday and Sunday from 7th September to 3rd November, including every day of half term week between 26th October and 3rd November.
Christmas holiday opening to be announced
Admission to Victoria Tower
Adult £1.50, Child 50p, Family ticket £3.00 (2 adults and up to 4 children). Kirklees Passports - Free.
Pedestrian access is by steep paths and 'Hillside' byway to the summit where there is a car park.
Paths to Victoria Tower from the car park are steep and uneven. The Tower can be accessed by steps only.
Bus No. 341 stops on Ashes Lane, just below Castle Hill. For further information please contact Metroline on 0113 2457676
No barbeques or fires are allowed due to Castle Hill being a Scheduled Ancient Monument and the damage that has been sustained to the monument and vegetation. Please do not release Chinese lanterns from Castle Hill's summit, they can cause extensive fire damage and injury to cattle that live around Castle Hill.
The use of kite buggies is discouraged due to the damage they can cause to the monument and in regards to safety for other visitors.
Castle Hill has unpredictable winds for any kite flyer and they should not be used in high winds or thunderstorms. Overhead power cables are close to Castle Hill and kites should not be flown near them.
Plans for improvements:
Managed by Streetscene and Housing, there is an ongoing programme of improvements for Castle Hill which includes Heritage Lottery funding. Phase I of the bid has been successful with a further bid being put forward to the Heritage Lottery this year for phase II. If successful then this will open up opportunities for the local community to be involved in a range of activities to help manage and conserve what is probably the most important Iron Age Hill fort in the north of England.
English Heritage and a range of local interest groups and residents are also involved in the planning of improvements for the future as part of the Castle Hill Management Advisory Group.
The site contains a diverse mosaic of wildlife habitats and working with Natural England, Castle Hill is now a designated Local Nature Reserve.
There is a number of interpretation panels on footpaths on Castle Hill giving the visitor an insight to its history and wildlife.
The history of human activity on the Castle Hill goes back over 4000 years. The site was developed as an iron age hill fort, surrounded by defensive ditches and ramparts. In the Middle Ages there was a castle on the hill, of which the well remains. The present tower was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee of 1897.
Perched on Castle Hill, Victoria Tower was completed in 1899 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria's reign. The corner-stone of the tower was laid on 25 June 1898 by Mr John Frechville Ramsden and was officially opened by the Earl of Scarborough on 24 June 1899. The walls of the tower are four feet thick at the bottom, tapering to two feet at the top. The tower was renovated in 1960 when the top seven feet were removed. It reaches the height of almost 997 feet above sea level. In November 2012 the lantern light on top of Victoria Tower was replaced due to the original light that had failed. The new LED light meets aviation regulations and uses the same energy as a 35W bulb.