The twin villages of West and East Ayton sit on opposite sides of the River Derwent, just to the west of Scarborough, on the main road to Pickering. The river marks the boundary between the parishes of Hutton Bushel, which includes West Ayton, and Seamer, which contains East Ayton.
Ayton Castle sits on the edge of a plateau just to the north of the village. It dates to the late 14th century, and may have been built by the Ayton family or by Sir Ralph Eure. It was a simple rectangular peel tower of a type very familiar nearer to the Scottish border. The tower was originally three floors high, but only south and east walls survive to this height, while the ruins of the north and west walls are only one storey high. Enough of the castle remains for us to tell that the ground floor was split into two rooms, while the first floor was a single large chamber, reached by straight staircases in the east and west walls. Stone from the castle was used to built the bridge between the villages.
Grid Reference: SE 986 847