Keys to the Past

Ford Castle (Ford)

Ford Castle.
Photo by Harry Rowland.
Ford Castle. Photo by Harry Rowland.

Ford Castle.
Ford Castle.

Ford Castle has its origins in the 14th century. Sir William Heron was given permission to fortify his residence here in 1338 when four towers were positioned on each corner. Of these, three survive, but one is detached ' the Flagpole Tower. The biggest tower was the King James's Tower on the north-west corner; it stands five storeys high if you count its vaulted basement. The basement is approached by a stair hidden within the thickness of the walls. The northern part of the castle is mainly 16th century in date, but was rebuilt, together with the forecourt and gateway in 1861. The main part of the castle was converted into a country house in 1694 and restored in 1862. Once the house was purchased by Lord Joicey the grounds around Ford Castle were improved. A wooded valley was laid out as a wild garden and crossed by bridges. The castle stands on a plateau and in the north-west corner is a small formal garden. A fountain designed by Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford, stands in the grounds. Unusual blue and white patterned tiles are on the walls of the Tower Room. They may be 19th century and Portuguese in origin and part of the alterations made by the Marchioness. The castle is now maintained by Northumberland County Council as a field study centre ( It is a Grade I Listed Building protected by law.

Reference number:N1812
Historical period: Post Medieval (1540 to 1901)
Medieval (1066 to 1540)
Legal status:Listed Building
Event(s):FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1967; R W Emsley
DESK BASED ASSESSMENT, Ford Castle fire hydrant works 2009; Bernicia Archaeology
MANAGEMENT SURVEY, Ford Castle Conservation Plan 2013; Simpson and Brown
MANAGEMENT SURVEY, Ford Castle Condition Survey 2014; Simpson and Brown

See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Ford

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.