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Edlingham Castle

Hob Uid: 6633
Location :
Northumberland
Edlingham
Grid Ref : NU1161009210
Summary : The ruins of a late 13th to 14th century fortified manor house with an outer defensive earthwork. Standing remains include the hall, solar tower, curtain wall and gatehouse. The earliest standing remains are those of the hall. Built between circa 1295 and 1300, this structure stood on the south side of a cobbled courtyard and was a rectangular building with octagonal corner turrets. Only a fragment of the south-east turret survives to any height, but the building would originally have been storeyed, the ground floor consisting of an undercroft used for storage, and the first floor including the private apartments of the lords of the manor of Edlingham. In the mid 14th century a curtain wall and projecting gatehouse were built to enclose the hall and courtyard, thereby strengthening the rampart which originally surrounded the manor and survives as an earthwork measuring circa 12 metres wide by circa 1 metre high. Only the base of the curtain wall and gatehouse remain standing. The tower was built in the mid to late 14th century. It was built adjacent to the earlier hall to provide private accommodation for the owner and his family. Because of its role in providing such private living space it is known as a 'solar' tower. The three-storeyed tower's north and west walls survive almost to their full height. The original hall and fortifications were built by William Felton after he purchased the manor from Thomas de Edlingham in 1295; The Feltons were royal officials and soldiers. The site is in the care of English Heritage.
More information : NU11610921 Edlingham Castle (NR)(Ruins of) (1)

Edlingham Castle. Ruins to NE of the church. Probably dates from
the 14th century.

Grade 1 (2). Moat at the N side, fed by Edlingham burn, may still
be traced (3). (2-3)

The remains of the castle are generally in poor condition and badly
neglected.

See ground photographs. The walls of the tower are 2.0 m wide and
approximately 10.0 m high and the fragments of courtyard wall are
1.2 m wide, and from 0.5 m to 5.0 m high.
The grass-covered mounds near the tower are probably buried
foundations of outbuildings or fallen masonry.

To the N of the castle the ground has been badly disturbed and has a
very hummocky appearance, but there are no definite traces of the
moat referred to by authority 3. (4)

No change since report of 27 1 55; see additional ground photographs.
Published survey of earthworks 25" revised. (5)

Edlingham Castle ruins. Grade I. (6)

NU 1161 0920. Edlingham Castle fortified manor and solar tower.
Scheduled RSM No 23227. The hall, solar tower, curtain wall and
gatehouse of a late 13th to 14th century fortified manor and an
outer defensive earthwork. Included within the courtyard are drains
and the remains of service buildings from all periods of occupation.
Earlier examples survive as buried features beneath 16th century
upstanding remains. The earliest standing remains are those of the
hall. Built between c.1295 and 1300, this structure stood on the S
side of a cobbled courtyard and was a rectangular building with
octagonal corner turrets. Only a fragment of the SE turret survives
to any height, but the building would originally have been two
storeyed. In the mid-14th century a curtain wall and projecting
gatehouse were built to enclose the hall and courtyard, thereby
strengthening the rampart which originally surrounded the manor
and survives as an earthwork measuring c.12m wide by c.1m high.
Only the base of the curtain wall and gatehouse remain standing,
but enough of the latter survives to show that it included three
arches, the central retaining the groove for the portcullis. The
foundations of the service buildings which survive as foundations
around the inner face of the curtain wall are all 16th century and
date from a replanning of the courtyard ranges after 1514.

The solar tower was built in the mid to late 14th century. Its N
and W walls survive almost to their full height of three storeys.
There is a forebuilding on the N side which originally connected
with the hall. The ground floor of the tower is unusual in that it
clearly served as a comfortable private chamber and not the more
usual storeroom. The original hall and fortifications were built
by William Felton after he purchased the manor from Thomas de
Edlingham in 1295. It remained the principal residence of his
family until c.1402 when historical records suggest that it was
split between two households, each concurrently occupying either
the tower house or hall. In 1514 the estate was purchased by the
Swinburnes who rebuilt the courtyard buildings and lived there
until c.1630. By 1661 the buildings were being dismantled for their
stone. The standing remains have been in State care since 1975. (7)

Report of the main excavations at Edlingham Castle. (8)

Detailed article on the spatial and functional development of medieval buildings, taking Edlingham Castle as a case study. The study examines changing use and access patterns, noting for example the proliferation of isolated chambers in the 14th century, mainly at the expense of "public" space, as the Feltons attempted to accomodate extended family, friends, retainers and other dependents. This trend ends in the 16th century as the realtionship between lord and dependents changed. There is also a tendency to "hide" service areas later on. (9)

Brief accessible description and history of Edlingham Castle and the role of the Felton family for visitors. (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 : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Alnwick RD, MAY-1969
Page(s) : 13
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : History of the Berwickshire Naturalists Club
Source details :
Page(s) : 19
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 22, 1912-15
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 EG 27-JAN-55
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 DS 28-JUL-71
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Alnwick, 25-AUG-1987
Page(s) : 63
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 12-Jan-94
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Edlingham Castle, Northumberland: an interim account of excavations, 1978-82. Part I; Part II [history, defences, and domestic arrangements]
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Meaningful constructions : spatial and functional analysis of medieval buildings
Source details :
Page(s) : 348-366
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 66
Source Number : 10
Source : Heritage unlocked: Guide to free sites in Yorkshire and the north east
Source details :
Page(s) : 70-71
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built c1295 to 1300
Monument End Date : 1300
Monument Start Date : 1295
Monument Type : Fortified Manor House, Rampart
Evidence : Ruined Building, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built mid to late C14
Monument End Date : 1400
Monument Start Date : 1333
Monument Type : Fortified Manor House, Tower
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Mid C14
Monument End Date : 1366
Monument Start Date : 1333
Monument Type : Curtain Wall, Gatehouse
Evidence : Structure, Demolished Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : ND 6
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 23227
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 236451
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 127
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NU 10 NW 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NU 10 NW 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1955-01-27
End Date : 1955-01-27
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NU 10 NW 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1971-07-28
End Date : 1971-07-28
Associated Activities : Primary, EDLINGHAM CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1978-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EDLINGHAM CASTLE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT EDLINGHAM CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31