High Tide is built from pale stone, the same material used in the Eyrie. Its slender towers are crowned with roofs of shining silver. When the waters of Blackwater Bay are at high tide, the castle is connected to the island of Driftmark by only a causeway.
High Tide was the seat of the Sea Snake, Lord Corlys Velaryon, one of the wealthiest and most powerful lords of the Seven Kingdoms. Having accumulated numerous treasures from Essos, Corlys constructed High Tide to replace the damp and crowded ancestral Velaryon seat, Castle Driftmark, and to house the Driftwood Throne. Spicetown developed from a fishing village near High Tide.
Corlys and Prince Daemon Targaryen planned their invasion of the Stepstones from High Tide in 106 AC. Corlys's son, Ser Laenor Velaryon, preferred High Tide to King's Landing, where his wife, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, remained at court. One of Laenor's favorites at High Tide was the household knight Qarl Correy. A widower after the death of his wife, Lady Rhea Royce, Prince Daemon won a duel against a Braavosi exile and then married Laena Velaryon, the daughter of the Lord of the Tides.
Laena died at High Tide from childbed fever in 120 AC, while Laenor died later that year at Spicetown. While at High Tide for the funeral of Laenor, Prince Aemond Targaryen rode the dragon Vhagar above the castle's towers. Aemond subsequently lost an eye fighting with Laenor's children.
The Velaryons sided with the blacks during the Dance of the Dragons. Following the Battle in the Gullet, the greens destroyed Spicetown, which was never rebuilt, and put High Tide to the torch. The Sea Snake's treasures from Essos were destroyed by fire, and his servants were cut down as they tried to escape.