Keys to the Past

Aydon Castle (Corbridge)

Aydon Castle, Corbridge.
Aydon Castle, Corbridge.

Aydon Castle, Corbridge. Photo by Peter Ryder.
Aydon Castle, Corbridge. Photo by Peter Ryder.

Aydon Castle is a medieval fortified manor and one of the finest examples in England. It has various domestic, ancillary and defensive buildings arranged around three courtyards that are themselves surrounded by a curtain wall. The earliest building at Aydon was a timber-framed hall and it stood here before about 1300. Archaeologists have found remains of the timber hall in excavations. The building was replaced by a stone hall in the late 13th century and when the Scottish wars began at the beginning of the 14th century Aydon was one of the first places to be raided. This led to the manor being fortified, with battlemented walls, parapets and an outer courtyard. Inside the 'castle' was a kitchen, storerooms, service rooms, as well as the hall with it rooms for servants and the lord of the manor. Despite these attempts at defending the castle, Aydon fell to the Scots in 1315. By 1450, the owners, the de Reymes family, had let the house to tenants and it was described as ruinous. In the 16th century it transferred to the Carnaby's of Hexham and amongst the renovations and alterations they created an orchard in part of the outer courtyard. Further alterations were carried out in the following years until in the 18th and 19th centuries Aydon became a farmhouse and farm buildings were added. Most recently, the castle passed into State care in 1966 and is now managed by English Heritage. This is a Scheduled Monument and Grade I Listed Building protected by law.

Reference number:N9957
Historical period: Medieval (1066 to 1540)
Legal status:Listed Building
Scheduled Ancient Monument
Event(s):DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY, Tree-ring dating of oak timbers from Aydon Castle 1991; English Heritage
BUILDING SURVEY, Aydon Castle Kitchen and its Roof 1992; English Heritage
TIMBER SAMPLING, Tree Ring Analysis of Timbers from the Latrine Block, Aydon Castle, Corbridge 2002; ENGLISH HERITAGE

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See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Corbridge


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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.