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

Chillingham Castle

Hob Uid: 5423
Location :
Northumberland
Chillingham
Grid Ref : NU0615025790
Summary : A medieval manor house at Chillingham was converted into a quadrangular castle in 1344. It is rectangular in plan, the buildings centred onto an open courtyard, the backs of the buildings form the curtain wall. There is a large square tower on each of the corners of the building. The curtain wall is now almost entirely vanished. The castle was besieged and damaged in 1536. Alterations were carried out during the 17th century when the walled forecourt was built on the north side. Additions were also carried out in 1753 and during the 19th century. Alterations in the early 19th century were carried out by John Patterson and Sir Jeffrey Wyatville.
More information : (NU 06152579) Chillingham castle (1)

A manor house had been built at Chillingham before mid 13c and transformed into a castle in 1344-8; existing buildings preserve the general character though with many alterations and additions. The plan is a rectangle, the buildings being grouped around the four sides of an open courtyard, their outer sides forming a curtain wall, with a square tower at each corner of the structure. The castle was besieged and damaged by rebels during the Pilgrimage of Grace (1536-7). Major alterations were made at the beginning of the 17c when a walled forecourt was built on the N side and further alterations occurred c 1753 and 19c. (2-3)

The manor House was probably built by Robert de Muschamp III who died AD 125, in 1344 licence to strengthen it with a stone wall, to crennellate it and to make it into a castle, was granted. Certain parts of the masonry in the curtain walls and lower
parts of thetowers are probably of this date. (4)

The castle is situated upon a NW-facing slope, with higher ground to the S, a ravine to the E, with higher ground beyond, and gentle slopes to the N and W, covered by extensive ornamental grounds. The castle is composed of a rectangle of buildings with four massive corner towers, as described in T2, mostly 14th-16th century work, but the N front, with the exception of the NE tower and part of the NW tower is of 17th century work. A range of domestic buildings grouped along the E face, are of 19th century work, but they are castellated and of pseudo-Norman design. The S face appears to be in its original state, though casement windows have been inserted in recent years. On each side of the drive before the main N entrance are two walls splayed outwards, castellated and probably of 19th century date. They replace the forecourt of the 17th century, referred to in T2.
The castle has been occupied until a few years ago but it is now closed-up, and abandoned. The present owner, Lord Tankerville, said that no finds of archaeological interest had been made in the locality of the castle in recent years.

Lord Tankerville also told the Investigator that on account of the castle being closed, it was not possible to visit the quadrangle
within the building. A survey of the interior of the rectangle of buildings was not therefore possible. (5)

Condition unchanged. (6)

Chillingham Castle. C14 with C17, C18 and C19 alterations. John Patterson and Sir Jeffrey Wyatville did work in early C19. Mostly dressed stone. Quadrilateral with 4 corner towers and linking ranges. Central courtyard. LateC19 service wing to left. entrance front has 3-bay entre which is of basement and 3 storeys, flanked by higher towers with still higher turrets. Steps to projecting early C17 centrepiece with paried Tuscan columns on all 3 floors, framing, on ground floor, round headed doorway with moulded imposts, arch, and responds, and on 1st and 2nd floors, 2 renewed cross windows with another Tuscan column between them. Renewed cross windows left and right of centrepiece on 2 upper floors. Slit windows on ground floor. Frieze and cornice above each floor, blank arches on first two friezes, lozenges above 2nd floor. Achievement of arms above top window; and 4 beasts with shields stand in front of embattled parapet. Sashes under hoodmould in towers. In courtyard, early C17 two-storey addition; possibly rebuilt open arcade on ground floor of segmental arches on square piers with small attached Ionic columns. 6 statues of Worthies on corbels above the piers. Staircase to 1st floor. Balcony on 2nd floor.
Interior: Tunnel-vaulted basements to towers and ranges. Newel stairs in towers. Early C17 ceiling with pendants, two elaborate C17 overmantel and a fine early C18 white marble fireplace with satyr heads. Interior in poor repair. (7)

Additional reference (8)

Listed as a Quadrangular Castle by Cathcart King and Dodds. (9-10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1926
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Archaeologia Aeliana : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity
Source details : J K St Joseph
Page(s) : 15-16
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 28, 1950
Source Number : 3
Source : History of the Berwickshire Naturalists Club
Source details : C H Hunter Blair
Page(s) : 15, 43-49
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 30, PART 1, 1938
Source Number : 4
Source : A history of Northumberland, volume fourteen : the parishes of Alnham, Chatton, Chillingham, Eglingham, Ilderton, Ingram and Whittingham, the chapelries of Lowick and Doddington
Source details :
Page(s) : 30-34
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : vol.14
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ASP 30-NOV-55
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 DS 23-APR-69
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Berwick-upon-Tweed, 25-JAN-1985
Page(s) : 20-22
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 324
Source Number : 8
Source : Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in England
Source details : Northumberland (1985)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Part 31
Source Number : 9
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) : 330
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Feb-83
Source Number : 10
Source : Bastions and Belligerents: Medieval Strongholds in Northumberland
Source details :
Page(s) : 101-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Manor House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : constructed 1344-8
Monument End Date : 1348
Monument Start Date : 1344
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle, Curtain Wall
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Besieged and damaged in 1536-7
Monument End Date : 1537
Monument Start Date : 1536
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C17 alterations
Monument End Date : 1699
Monument Start Date : 1600
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Alterations of 1753
Monument End Date : 1753
Monument Start Date : 1753
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C19 alterations
Monument End Date : 1899
Monument Start Date : 1800
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 79053
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 237509
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NU 02 NE 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1095810
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NU 02 NE 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1955-11-30
End Date : 1955-11-30
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NU 02 NE 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1969-04-23
End Date : 1969-04-23
Associated Activities : Primary, INVESTIGATION BY RCHME/EH ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-11-14
End Date : 1995-11-14
Associated Activities : Primary, THE COACH HOUSE, CHILLINGHAM CASTLE
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31