It was built around 1186 by Robert de Lacy as an administrative centre for his estates in the area but later passed by inheritance to the Crown. It consists of one of the smallest keeps in the country and at one time it was surrounded by a curtain wall.
There is a legend that the Devil threw a boulder from Pendle Hill and hit the castle creating the hole you can see today.
It is freely open to the public and in the bailey is a museum, the Clitheroe Castle Museum, which does have an admission charge.
- Adams, Paul (2005-6), 'Clitheroe Castle', Castle Studies Group Journal, Vol 19 p179–192
- Edwards, B.J.N. (1984), 'George Vertue’s engraving of Clitheroe Castle', Antiquaries Journal, Vol 64 p366–72
- Fry, Plantagenet Somerset (1980), The David & Charles Book of Castles, David & Charles, ISBN 0-7153-7976-3
- Gooderson, P.J. (1980), A History of Lancashire, Batsford, ISBN 0-7134-2588-1
- Jones, R.O. (1982), Clitheroe Castle
- Langshaw, A. (1940), A Guide to Clitheroe Castle