Keys to the Past

Belsay Castle (Belsay)

Belsay Castle (Copyright © Don Brownlow)
Belsay Castle (Copyright © Don Brownlow)

Belsay Castle comprises the remains of a 15th century tower attached to a range of buildings of early 17th century date. The tower was constructed between 1439 and 1460 during a period of turbulent border warfare. It was probably at the eastern end of a range of buildings replaced by the 17th century manor house. The tower is three-storied with two short wings at the north-west and south-east corners. It ha four round corner turrets. Each of the storeys contains a large room. The main hall was on the second floor. It has two large windows and still has the remains of 15th century wall paintings. In 1614 a low two-storeyed range was added to the tower house. This building, one of the earliest undefended houses in the county reflects the more peaceful conditions of the period. Immediately to the north of the tower is another range of buildings. Although it was heavily altered in the 19th century it may be of the same date as the tower. This is a Grade I Listed Building and a Scheduled Monument protected by law.

Reference number:N10234
Historical period: Post Medieval (1540 to 1901)
Medieval (1066 to 1540)
Legal status:Listed Building
Scheduled Ancient Monument
Event(s):FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1968; B H Pritchard
WATCHING BRIEF, Belsay Castle 1984; anon
EXCAVATION, Belsay Castle 1985; English Heritage
FIELD OBSERVATION, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland 1995; P RYDER
HERITAGE ASSESSMENT, Belsay Castle wall paintings - condition survey 1997; English Heritage
HERITAGE ASSESSMENT, Belsay Castle, Belsay, Northumberland: scientific analysis and historic interpretation of decorated window glass by Henry Gyles of York 2011; English Heritage
TEST PIT, Belsay Castle 2015; AD Archaeology Ltd
GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY, Belsay Hall and Castle geophysical surveys 2016; Historic England
LIDAR SURVEY, Belsay Hall and Estate, Northumberland - Belsay Awakes 2017; Historic England
DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY, Belsay Castle oak timbers 2018; Historic England

See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Belsay

Disclaimer -

Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.