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Overlooking the North Sea and high above Marine Drive are the remains of Scarborough Castle, a former Medieval Royal fortress, situated on its rocky promontory. The castle’s founder, William le Gros, Count of Aumâle, created Earl of York by King Stephen in 1138, proceeded to establish himself as the unrivalled political master of the region. His work at Scarborough probably began in the 1130s. Later in the 12th century the chronicler, William of Newburgh, recorded that Aumâle was responsible for enclosing the plateau of the  promontory with a wall and erecting a tower at the entrance, on the site of the present great tower or keep. But within a few years of the castle’s foundation Henry II acceded to the throne and demanded the return of all royal castles. Scarborough, which was built on a royal manor, was one of these and Scarborough Castle passed into the hands of the Crown.