Keys to the Past

Haughton Castle (Humshaugh)

Haughton Castle, Humshaugh. Photo by Peter Ryder.
Haughton Castle, Humshaugh. Photo by Peter Ryder.

Haughton Castle dates back to at least the 14th century, when it was fortified. It was first called a castle in 1373 when the original tower house was heightened and turrets were added together with parapet walks. At this time the castle was owned by Gerald Widdrington and, although it was still owned by the Widdringtons in the early 14th century, the Swinburns were living in it. By the 16th century the castle seems to have been falling into disrepair and ruin and an attack by Border reivers in 1541 saw nine horses and goods worth £40 stolen from it. No major improvements were carried out until the early 19th century when it was turned into a fashionable country house and parkland was laid out.
The early development of the castle shows it was an upper floor hall house with turrets and a parapet added in the 14th century. Outside, there is a unique feature in the blocked five bay arcade of tall pointed arches in each long wall. Inside the castle the basement has vaulted sections with small loop openings. The basement has been altered to create and opening into the 19th century extension. Above the basement are three or four floors in different parts of the castle. Outside the castle a 16th century drawing shows a barmkin and gateway to the south. Traces of the barmkin are apparently visible in dry weather as parchmarks on the lawns. The castle is probably one of the earliest 13th century upper floor hall houses in Northumberland and must be one of the best preserved hall houses in the north of England. This is a Grade I Listed Building protected by law.

Reference number:N9294
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 1966; R W Emsley
PHOTOGRAPHIC SURVEY, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland 1995; P RYDER
FIELD OBSERVATION, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland 1995; P RYDER

See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Humshaugh

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.