Medieval castles near Corbridge
Northumberland is well known because of its castles, having more castles than any other county across England. Corbridge area is no exception, and here we tell you a bit about some castles and fortifications worth a visit. You can spend an entire day following this route, or you can pick your favourite one and make a day of it.
Within only 3 miles from the Angel, you can find Aydon castle. It was originally built as a residential house and was later fortified. Although the castle has been attacked on several occasions, it is almost completely intact and is a perfect example of a 13th century English manor house. On your visit, you can observe carved fireplaces and enjoy the woodland that surrounds the castle. You can even make a day of it and have a picnic in the walled orchard.
Driving a further 14 miles from Aydon Castle, you will find Belsay Castle. It was acquired in 1270 by the Middleton family, but very little is known of the original building and its extent before that. The three-storey tower was modified on two occasions. In 1614, a Jacobean range was added to the west side of the tower. Then, circa 1711, a further wing was added and the walled gardens were laid out. In 1795, Sir Charles Monck built a new Greek-style mansion, which is now known as Belsay Hall.
Nowadays, you can visit the castle and the hall, walk around the enchanting gardens and treat yourself to tea and cake served in the Hall’s original kitchen.
On the way back to Corbridge, and about 13 miles from Belsay Castle, you will find Prudhoe Castle. The castle was built in the late 11th century, after the 1066 Norman conquest. It withstood two sieges and further attacks during the Wars of Independence, becoming the only castle in Northumberland to resist the Scots.
Lastly, back in Corbridge, there is the Vicar’s Pele tower. Although not a castle, this medieval fortification is estimated to have been built around 1300 – 1350 and it is very well preserved. It is located within the churchyard of St. Andrew’s Church, and it is now a micropub. Its quirky and characterful structure plus its ales are worth a visit.
All the castles are managed by English Heritage, so booking is essential to visit them. Please visit their website for more information: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/