HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Historic England research records Result
Historic England research recordsPrintable version | About Historic England research records

Historic England Research Records

Prudhoe Castle

Hob Uid: 20529
Location :
Northumberland
Prudhoe
Grid Ref : NZ0915063400
Summary : A 12th century castle replacing earlier timber motte and bailey castle which was probably constructed earlier in the same century. Excavations have revealed early timber buildings and a palisade, and that the latter was replaced by an earth and stone bulwark. The curtain wall was rebuilt and extended in the 13th century and a barbican added in the 14th century. The great hall was replaced with a larger one in the 15th century, which was in turn replaced by a smaller hall again by 1586. Tree-ring dating on the castle gates suggests that they were constructed using timber felled between AD 1459 and AD 1484. Surviving physical remains include both ruined buildings and earthworks. The site also contains a 19th century manor house. William the Lion, King of Scotland unsuccessfully beseiged the castle in 1173 and 1174. The castle changed ownership during the course of the medieval period, initially the main family connected with the castle were the Umfravilles, in the late 14th century the castle passed into the hands of the powerful Percy family but was forfited for some time after the rebellion of Percy Harry "Hotspur" against Henry IV. It passed between the houses of York and Lancaster in the 15th century until being regained by the Percys once more in 1470. The castle is in the care of English Heritage.
More information : [NZ 0915 6340] Prudhoe Castle [LB]. (1)

Probably erected in the early 12th century as a motte and bailey, subsequently rebuilt in stone, and the keep added on the site of the levelled motte. In the 13th century the curtain wall was again rebuilt and extended to include the keep within the circuit. A barbican was added in the mid 14th century. Situated on a precipitious, natural hill, the Castle is defended by moats on the south and west sides only. Scheduled.
See map diagram components. (2-4)

In good conditions. Published survey (25") of earthworks revised.(5)

Castle. Largely C12 and C13. Barbican C14. Manor house early C19. Squared stone. Manor house dressed stone and stone slate roof. Inner and outer baileys now divided by Gothick manor house, keep and gatehouse with barbican. Castle approached by elongated barbican with outer pointed arch leading to round-headed tunnel-vaulted gate passage under rectangular tower. Chapel on 1st floor important early canted, oriel window, lancet windows on east side; guard room above and external stair from ground to roof. Curtain wall largely intact with a variety of features connected with former internal buildings, the foundations of which have recently been exposed, and including shouldered-arched opening to well-preserved garderobe on south side. East tower, Gothicised in late C18. Manor house of 2 storeys, 5 bays, has to left a round-arched carriage entry to inner ward. 6-panelled door with four-centred head and fanlight in right bay. Similar heads to windows, sashes with intersecting glazing bars. Left return embattled and incorporating earlier masonry with two 2-light C15 windows. Right return apsidal and embattled. 3 stone ridge stacks.

Inner bailey has well-preserved curtain wall with round tower at north-west corner and base of another at south-west corner. Ruined keep, linked to Manor House by remains of forebuilding, is quite small, 41 x 44 feet. South-west corner intact with crenellated angle turret. Mural stair in west wall and 2 shouldered-arched openings in north wall. Well-preserved garderobe on north curtain wall. Range of early and mid C19 outbuildings against west wall.

(Royal Archeological Institute: Newcastle 1976 Archeologia Aeliana: New Series XIV 1891 Anglo-Norman Studies: Vol. 5.) (6)

NZ 0916 6341. Prudhoe Castle tower keep castle. Scheduled RSM No23228. A tower keep Border castle including two baileys or courtyard containing the keep and numerous other medieval buildings, a gatehouse, barbican and curtain wall, and the castle's outer defences which incorporate two ditches on the S and W sides. A medieval bridge outside the outer defences and to the E of the main gatehouse is also included in the Scheduling. The earliest upstanding feature of the stone castle is the lower part of the gatehouse. This dates to the early 12th century and indicates that the castle's inner defences, originally of timber, had begun to be replaced in stone by c.1100. The massive curtain wall built at this time is over 1.5m thick and nearly 8m high. Prior to the construction of the tower keep, the lord's private and public chambers would have been included within the hall, recently discovered by excavation to have stood against the N curtain in the E bailey of the castle. This was a rectangular building of two storeys which may have retained its public functions after the tower keep was built. E of it, following the E curtain, the remains of a number of service buildings have been found including a kitchen and brewhouse, the latter below the E tower. On the right of the gatehouse are the remains of the castle mill and, on the left, the pond which fed it. (7)

Norman keep with two round towers and one square tower, freestanding within an oval ward. Norman rectangular gatehouse with verylong barbican projecting in front of it. It appears likely that there were originally two wards. (8)

History of the site. (9)

Previous analysis of the carpentry from the castle gates had suggested a mid-14th century date for their construction: however, results of tree-ring dating analysis of timbers from the gates carried out by English Heritage published in 2002 suggests that they were constructed using timber felled AD 1459-84. At that time the Castle was in the possession of the second Earl of Northumberland. (10)

Further discussion of the construction and date of the castle gates with comparison to other sites. (11)

The re-written English Heritage Guidebook published in 2006 includes a "tour" of the salient features of the castle and an overview of the development of its defences and other buildings and the major events surrounding its history. There are sections on the wider estate around the castle, and of the seiges of 1173-74 by Wiliam the Lion, King of Scotland. It has numerous illustrations including phase plans and artwork showing the main features of the castle. (12)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1/2500 1961
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Archaeologia Aeliana : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity
Source details : 1944
Page(s) : 153-155
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 22
Source Number : 11
Source : Archaeologia Aeliana : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity
Source details : Article by Robin Dower, Jane Geddes and David Sherlock: 'The Gates of Prudhoe Castle'
Page(s) : 77-88
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 33, 2004
Source Number : 12
Source : Prudhoe Castle [Guide]
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Northumberland County History
Source details : Illustrtration and plan
Page(s) : 79-135
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 12
Source Number : 4
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Ancient Monuments of England and Wales 1965 (MOW)
Page(s) : 83
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 RWE 07-FEB-66
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Tynedale, Northumberland, 07-MAR-1985
Page(s) : 70
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 340
Source Number : 7
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 12-Jan-94
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 340
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 9
Source : Bastions and Belligerents: Medieval Strongholds in Northumberland
Source details :
Page(s) : 461-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers from Prudhoe Castle Gates, Prudhoe, Northumberland; Centre for Archaeology Reports 37/2002
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : ND 2
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 23228
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 239494
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 135
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1261890
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1011647
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 06 SE 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 06 SE 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1966-02-07
End Date : 1966-02-07
Associated Activities : Primary, PRUDHOE CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1973-01-01
End Date : 1976-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PRUDHOE CASTLE GATES
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT PRUDHOE CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PELE WALL, PRUDHOE CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT PRUDHOE CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2015-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31