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Tyne and Wear HER(106): Ravensworth Castle (medieval) - Details

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Engraving of Ravensworth Castle



Ravensworth Castle (medieval)





Quadrangular Castle



Ruined Building

Two square towers and fragments of the attached curtain wall remain of what was presumably a quadrangular castle of 4 angle towers connected by a curtain wall to form a square enclosure. The surviving north tower comprises a brick-vaulted half-underground room, a large stone-vaulted room at mezzanine level, and a small mural south chamber. The south tower comprises a vaulted room on each of the 4 floors and mural chambers. The earliest reference to the placename is c.1080 when it was in the hands of Bishop Flambard from whom the manor passed through various hands (in the 14th and 15th century the Lumleys) until in 1607 it was bought by Sir Thomas Liddell, in whose family (later Barons Ravensworth) it remained until c.1976. The first reference to the castle is 1405/06, although its actual date of origin is probably late 13th or 14th century. The towers survived the Liddells' constant rebuilding of their houses, now almost all gone, in the 18th and 19th centuries. This is an important, largely unknown and wholly unrecorded monument. It is included on English Heritage's Register of Buildings at Risk 2002 as being in "very bad" condition. SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT AND LISTED GRADE 2*




<< HER 106 >> W. Hutchinson, 1787, History of County Palatine of Durham, II, pp. 417-18 R. Surtees, 1820, History of the County Palatine pf Durham, II, p. 208 W.H.D. Longstaffe, 1855, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 2, I, pp. 256-7 J.R. Boyle, 1892, Durham...Its Castles, Churches etc. pp. 607-8 F. Whellan & Co. 1894, Directory of ... Durham,pp. 1207-08 Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 1895 2, VI, p. 49 and Bucks' view H.E. Bell, 1939, Calendar of Deeds given to the Society by Lord Ravensworth, Archaeologia Aeliana, 4, XVI, pp. 43-70, nos. 46, 73 C.R.Walton, 1950, Romantic Ravensworth - Gateshead Post R.W. Martin, The Liddells of Ravensworth, a scrapbook - Gateshead Library N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, 1985, County Durham Second edition revised, pp. 389-90. D. McKay & M. Bowden, (RCHM(E)), 1989, Ravensworth Castle P. Meadows & E. Waterson, 1993, Lost Houses of County Durham, pp 16-19; Gateshead Council, 1999, Conservation Area Policy Guidelines, Strategies and Character Statements, Ravensworth Conservation Area, pp 61-63; Northern Archaeological Associates, 2006, Ravensworth Castle, Gateshead; North of England Civic Trust, 2008, Ravensworth Castle, Gateshead, Conservation Plan; Northern Archaeological Associates, 2014, Ravensworth Castle, Gateshead - Building Recording; Northern Archaeological Associates, 2016, Ravensworth Castle, Gateshead - Watching Brief;

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