In 1995 Ryedale District Council acquired the 5 acres of land behind the Old Lodge Hotel in Old Maltongate.
The land is said to contain part of the remains of the Roman Fort known as Derventio dating from 71AD.
Some 1000 years later The Normans built a castle on the land which was captured by Archbishop Thurstan of York in 1138.
Eustace de Vescy rebuilt the original wooden castle in stone and welcomed Richard the Lionheart to the castle in 1189. Edward II also visited in 1307.
Robert the Bruce also visited Malton Castle in 1322, but the great house fell to ruin.
It was inherited by Lord William Eure when he received his title in 1544. The Eure family had a long and interesting connection with the area – William's son Ralph, born in 1510, defended Scarborough Castle against the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536 and became Warden of the East Marches . He was also involved in the burning of Edinburgh in 1544. The exploits of this bloody warrior are commemorated in Sir Walter Scott's poem entitled 'Lord Eurie'.
In 1569 Ralph, 3rd Lord Eure built a new house on the site now known as the Castle Garden . The house was rebuilt it in much grander style around 1602. This was a spectacular property and is described by the diarist and gunpowder plotter Sir Henry Slingsby as rivalling many other great houses, including that at Audley End.
It is that house that was inherited by Colonel William Eure, a casualty of Marston Moor , and eventually by his two daughters Mary and Margaret (Peg and Moll). The sisters famously quarrelled over their inheritance and could not agree on who should live in the property. As a result the house was taken down stone by stone and the stones divided between them by order of the Sheriff Henry Marwood in 1674. All that remains of the original property is the building now known as The Old Lodge Hotel. The size of this building suggests that the original Jacobean Prodigy house that once stood on the site would have been a substantial and impressive property.
During recent archaeological observation of the construction of the Castle Garden , evidence of a substantial demolition layer has been identified suggesting that the house became the Jacobean equivalent of crusher run!
Only the Lodge remains and that has been substantially altered and extended since purchase by Sir Thomas Wentworth in 1712.
What little evidence we have of a garden associated with the Jacobean house comes from a painting by Settrington and an etching of that painting dated 1728.