Pickering Castle was originally a timber and earth motte and bailey castle. It was developed into a stone motte and bailey castle which had a stone shell keep.
The current inner ward was originally the bailey and was built between 1180 and 1187.
The keep was developed into a stone shell keep sometime during the years 1216 and 1236 along with the chapel, during this time, and there is a reconstruction of the chapel at the site.
Between the years 1323 and 1326 there was an outer ward and curtain wall built along with 3 towers, there was also 2 ditches, one situated outside of the curtain wall one in the outer ward.
After this there was a gatehouse, ovens, hall and the storehouses built. It is situated on the vale of Pickering and has a considerably steep cliff on the West side which would have been a great defensive attribute.