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Historic England Research Records

Warkworth Castle

Hob Uid: 7873
Location :
Northumberland
Warkworth
Grid Ref : NU2471005760
Summary : An early 12th century motte and bailey castle. The date of the building of the first stone castle here is uncertain, traditionally it has been thought to have been circa 1139 although it may have been in the 1150s with many subsequent alterations. Phases of construction between 1199-1213, 1249-1310, the late 14th century, the 15th and 16th centuries have been identified. The remains include a keep, castle and 15th century collegiate church (possibly from the 1480s). One tower was used as a prison in the 16th century. During the medieval period it was one of the main seats of the powerful Percy family. The castle was reported in good repair in 1538 and from then until 1557 it became the residence of two royal officials. It was captured by the Scots in 1644 and 1645 and by soldiers of the commonwealth in 1648. It was used for building materials for a house at Chirton in 1672. The Keep was repaired in the 19th century. It is in the care of English Heritage.
More information : [NU 2471 0576] Warkworth Castle [NR] Keep [NR]. (1)

See guide attached. (2)

Condition unchanged. (3)

Warkworth Castle. Scheduled Ancient Monument. First built in stone c.1139, but little remains of that date. Gatehouse, Great Hall, Carrickfergus and West Postern Towers all probably c.1200. Grey Mare's Tail Tower later 13th century, and Chapel early 14th century. The Keep of Tower House, the remodelled Hall, the Kitchen and the Collegiate Church all belong to the beginning of the 15th century. Parts of the interior of the Keep were restored by Salvin in 1853-8. (4)

NU 2471 0575. Warkworth Castle motte and bailey castle, tower keep castle and collegiate church. Scheduled RSM No 23234. The monument comprises the early 12th century motte and bailey castle, the mid 12th to 16th century tower keep castle, and the 14th century collegiate church. To the N of castle, occupying the loop of the river, is the town of Warkworth which developed with the castle as one of the planned boroughs of the Middle Ages. Further remains, preserving the relationship between the castle and borough, will survive in this area. The motte stands at the S end of the main street with the bailey occupying a levelled and scarped area to the S that is roughly triangular in plan with a diameter of c.100m, reduced to c.80m in the mid-12th century with the construction of a stone curtain wall. A section of the E curtain and the S and W walls of the contemporary solar are the only upstanding remains of this earliest castle. In the late 12th or early 13th century the timber keep was replaced by the first masonry tower keep. Only the foundations of this structure survive, the upstanding remains being those of its early 15th century replacement. The early 15th century keep is unroofed but largely complete, its well preserved exterior being due to its continued upkeep through the 15th and 16th centuries and its partial restoration between 1853 and 58 by the Fourth Duke of Northumberland.

To the S of the keep are the foundations of an early 15th century church which extends the full width of the bailey and was intended as part of a college of secular canons endowed by the first Percy earl of Northumberland. It appears, however, that the upper part of the church was never built. Vaulted cellars under the E arm and N transept remained in use as stores and survive together with the ground plan of the church and a passage built to connect the bailey to the S with the area to the N.

The first stone castle is believed to have been built by Henry, son of King David I of Scotland, who was created Earl of Northumberland in 1139. It is not known who was responsible for the earlier motte and bailey castle. Throughout the 13th and early 14th centuries the castle continued in the hands of the descendents of Roger fitzRichard who, from 1310 took the name Clavering after their estates in Essex. No documentary evidence exists for the castle during the late 14th or early 15th centuries, though it was during this period that the present keep was built and collegiate church begun. The castle was reported in good repair in 1538 and from then until 1557 it became the residence of two successive royal officials. It was captured and occupied by the Scots between 1644 and 45 and by soldiers of the Commonwealth in 1648. In 1672 any remaining building materials were removed by John Clarke for the construction of his house at Chirton. The castle remained untended until the mid-19th century, when the fourth Duke of Northumberland restored part of the keep and carried out repairs to the rest of the castle to prevent its further decay. The castle has been in State care since 1922 and is also a Grade I Listed Building. (Extract from complete text) (5)

Warkworth Castle. Castle curtain walls with gateway, towers and
attached buildings. Grade I.

Warkworth Castle. The Donjon. Grade I. (6)

Additional reference. (7)

Main events of the castle's history described. (8-9)

Additional reference with brief summary of the Castle and visitor information current 2009/10 (10)

The English Heritage Guidebook published in 2006 provides a "tour" of the salient features of the castle and a history of its use and about the influential Percy family associated with it. It notes that there is a degree of uncetainty about when the first stone castle was built, although it has traditionally been thought that this was constructed initially circa 1139 it might have been built in the 1150s. A phase plan identifies standing remains of 1199-1213, 1249-1310, the late 14th century ( including the "Great Tower " and the 15th century (inluding the collegiate church possibly from the 1480s a chapel and the Great Hall) with more minor alterations in the 16th century and resoration in the 19th century. (11)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1958
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Official Guide (MOW), 1954
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Source Number : 11
Source : Warkworth Castle and Hermitage [Guide]
Source details :
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHP 03-AUG-71
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Source Number : 4
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Alnwick Rural District, MAY-1969
Page(s) : 39
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 01-Sep-93
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Alnwick, 01-SEP-1988
Page(s) : 233-35
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1399
Source Number : 7
Source : Warkworth Castle and Hermitage Northumberland
Source details :
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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) : 343-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Feb-83
Source Number : 9
Source : Bastions and Belligerents: Medieval Strongholds in Northumberland
Source details :
Page(s) : 206-10
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Source Number : 10
Source : English Heritage Visitor Handbook 2009/10
Source details :
Page(s) : 262
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Plates :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built early C12
Monument End Date : 1132
Monument Start Date : 1101
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : First stone castle 1139-1159
Monument End Date : 1159
Monument Start Date : 1139
Monument Type : Castle, Keep
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered 1199-1213
Monument End Date : 1213
Monument Start Date : 1199
Monument Type : Castle, Gatehouse
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered 1249-1310
Monument End Date : 1310
Monument Start Date : 1249
Monument Type : Castle, Tower
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Late C14
Monument End Date : 1400
Monument Start Date : 1367
Monument Type : Castle, Keep
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered C15
Monument End Date : 1500
Monument Start Date : 1401
Monument Type : Collegiate Church, Brewhouse, Great Hall, Kitchen, Chapel
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Captured by the Scots
Monument End Date : 1645
Monument Start Date : 1644
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : captured by commonwealth soldiers
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1648
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Keep rebuilt
Monument End Date : 1899
Monument Start Date : 1800
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : C16 alterations
Monument End Date : 1600
Monument Start Date : 1501
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : ND 1
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 23234
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 237237
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR 4424/02
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 138
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NU 20 NW 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 7876
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, WARKWORTH CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1924-01-01
End Date : 1931-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WARKWORTH CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1966-01-01
End Date : 1966-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NU 20 NW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1971-08-03
End Date : 1971-08-03
Associated Activities : Primary, CHESTER HOUSE EXTENSION (OPENCAST COAL SITE, ACKLINGTON)
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT WARKWORTH CASTLE
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT WARKWORTH CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WARKWORTH CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, GREY MARE'S TAIL TOWER, WARKWORTH CASTLE
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2006-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WARKWORTH CASTLE PATHS
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2016-01-01
End Date : 2016-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WARKWORTH CASTLE CABLING
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2016-01-01
End Date : 2016-12-31