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Tyne and Wear HER(12): Hylton Castle - Details

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Hylton Castle







Ruined Building

A fine gatehouse tower with extravagant battlement works and a magnificent display of heraldry. Built by Sir William Hylton in late 14th or early 15th century. Basically rectangular in plan with a central through passage and two vaulted rooms on each side at ground floor level. A stair in the east turret led to the first floor where a central hall rose to the roof and was flanked at the north (high) end by the principal chamber, etc., and at the south (low) end by the kitchen, etc. Other rooms include the chapel in the east turret. The castle was gutted by John Hylton (died 1712) who converted it to 3 storeys and added the north wing. His son John added the south wing, and Neo-Gothick porch. The castle left the Hylton family in 1746, was later bought by Mrs Bowes, then rescued by Simon Temple in 1812, and in 1863 bought by William Briggs, a Sunderland merchant, who carried out major alterations. Threatened with demolition, it was taken into guardianship in c. 1950. Several archaeological excavations have been carried out since the late 1980s, including a detailed study of Hylton Castle compiled by Tyne and Wear Museums Services in 1993, and geophysical survey and excavation by the "Time Team" television programme in June 1994 which revealed a complex of buildings and gardens to the west of the castle, with ploughed out ridge and furrow beyond. Excavation showed the building closest to the castle to be a probable medieval feasting hall contemporary with the gatehouse, with a building further to the east interpreted as a large Elizabethan house. In July 1994 TWMS produced the "Hylton Castle Historic Gardens Project, Research and Restoration Design" report, followed in 1995 by an Earthwork and Documentary Survey of Hylton Castle gardens which concluded that the easternmost range and terraced garden were post medieval in date. Following the interest generated by "Time Team" local residents formed the Friends of Hylton Dene group which has published a new information leaflet and secured LHI funding to hold an event to raise awareness of their local heritage in May 2003. The gardens and dene have been restored by City of Sunderland and Durham Wildlife Trust. SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT AND LISTED GRADE 1. Said to be haunted by the 'Cauld Lad', a stable boy called Roger Skelton who was murdered by Sir Robert Hilton in the 17th century when he was found asleep on the day of a fox hunt. Hilton was tried for the murder in July 1609 but pardoned because the body was not found. The naked ghost was said to wail and cry 'I'm cauld, I'm cauld'. In 1703 a skeleton of a boy aged 11 or 12 was found in a pond close to the castle and the body was given a Christian burial. Strange figures, noises and lights are still reported {Kirkup 2009}.




<< HER 12 >> R. Surtees, 1820, History of...Durham, pp. 20-21 E. Mackenzie and M. Ross, 1834, A Historical View...of Durham, Vol. II, pp. 328-32 (Acc. no. 94126) R.W. Billings, 1846, Architectural Antiquities of the County of Durham, pp. 47-48 W.H.D. Longstaffe 1876 The Architectural History of the...Tower or Castle of Hilton, Archaeologia Aeliana, 2, VII, pp. 143-153 J.R. Boyle, 1892, Durham: Its Castles, Churches etc. pp. 546-50 C.H. Hunter Blair, 1925, Newcastle upon Tyne Records Committee, Durham Monuments, Vol. V, pp. 141-148 H.L. Honeyman, 1929, Hilton Castle, County Durham, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 4, III (for 1927-28), pp. 234-239 H. Hunter Blair, 1927, The Armorials of the County Palatine of Durham, Archaeologia Aeliana, 4, IV, plate III opp. p. 66 B.M. Morley, 1976, Hylton Castle, Archaeological Journal, Vol. 133, pp. 118-134 B.M. Morley, 1979, Hylton Castle, Dept. Of Environment, Official Handbook Gentleman's Magazine, 1821, Review of New Publications: History of Durham by R. Surtees, Vol. II Vol. 91, Feb. pp. 137-8, March pp. 233-6 J. Raine, ed. 1835, Wills and Inventories, Surtees Society, Vol. 2, pp. 181-4 W. Fordyce, 1857, History of Durham, Vol. II, pp. 541-6 W.H.D. Longstaffe, 1859, The Church of Guyzance (Hilton family), Archaeologia Aeliana, 2, III, pp. 134-145 Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 1889, Hylton Castle, 2, III (for 1887-8), pp. 181-2 Newspaper Cuttings, Newcastle Library Local Studies,19th century Durham L 942.81, pp. 50-53 Newcastle Library Local Studies, misc. Hylton Castle and chapel vertical files J.C. Hodgson, ed. 1906, Wills and Inventories, Vol. 112, pp. 178-9 Surtees Society F.S. Eden, 1909, Oxford County Histories, Durham p. 199 J.C. Hodgkin, 1913, Durham, pp. 169-72 Rev. E.J. Taylor, 1921, Hilton Castle, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 3, IX (for 1919-20), pp. 49-51 H. Thompson, 1923, Hilton Castle, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 3, X (for 1921-22), pp. 335-8 C. Headlam, 1939, The Three Northern Counties of England, p. 335 Local Historical Items, 1951, Hylton Castle, Vol. 15, p. 148 -Newcastle Library Local Studies T. Nicholson, 1960, Hylton Castle, Co. Durham, Antiquities of Sunderland Vol. XXII, pp. 11-24 N. Pevsner, Rev. E. Williamson, 1983, Buildings of England, County Durham, pp. 470-2 Tyne and Wear Museums, 1993, Hylton Castle Archaeological Assessment Tyne and Wear Museums, 1994, Hylton Castle Historic Gardens Project, Research and Restoration Design Tyne and Wear Museums, 1994, Hylton Dene Interceptor Sewer Archaeological Watching Brief Tyne and Wear Museums, 1995, Hylton Castle Gardens Tyne and Wear Museums, 1996, Hylton Castle Premier Park Archaeological Evaluation Tyne and Wear Museums & Beric Morley, 1998, Excavation and Survey at Hylton Castle Time Team, 1995, Channel 4 Television, The Time Team Reports 1994 Tyne and Wear Museums, 2002, Hylton Castle, Sunderland Archaeological Assessment Tyne and Wear Museums, 2003, Hylton Castle, Sunderland, Archaeological Evaluation Geoquest Associates, 1994, Geophysical Surveys at Hylton Castle, Sunderland B. Morley and S. Speak, 2002, Excavation and Survey at Hylton Castle, Sunderland, The Archaeological Journal, Vol 159, P. Meadows & E. Waterson, 1993, Lost Houses of County Durham pp 42-43; Rob Kirkup, 2009, Ghostly Tyne and Wear, pages 63-67; GSB Prospection Ltd. 2014, Hylton Castle, Sunderland - Ground Penetrating Radar Survey; Bureau Veritas, Hylton Castle and Dene Sunderland, 2008, Conservation Management Plan; ASUD, 2008, Hylton Castle Park, Archaeological Assessment; Fiona Green, 2008, Hylton Castle Grounds, Historic Landscape Appraisal; Northern Archaeological Associates, 2016, Hylton Castle, Sunderland - Archaeological Assessment and Heritage Statement; NAA, 2015, Hylton Castle, Sunderland - Conservation Management Plan; NAA, 2015, Hylton Castle, Sunderland - Archaeological

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