Prudhoe Castle

Prudhoe Castle

Prudhoe Castle is a ruined castle in Prudhoe, Northumberland. It was built in the 12th century. In 1614-1615, it became central to the siege of the castle by James I and VI who captured it from rebels holding it for King Charles I. He ordered the destruction of its fortifications to prevent them being used again against his forces. The ruins currently consist only of portions of substantial walls and curtain walls at various levels up to 13 feet (4 metres) high and about 15 feet.

The castle was built in the 12th century by Guy Dangerous, a knight who served under William Rufus in a campaign against Scotland. It has consequently been known as “Dangerous Castle” and is also known locally as “Guy’s Castle”. Prudhoe Castle was one of the two major castles guarding the route into Northumberland from south of the river Tyne.

A castle had existed on that site since at least 1150. After Henry II came to the throne, it passed to Philip of Alsace, who was married to Agnes, countess of Huntingdon and Northumberland. It then passed by marriage to Simon de St Liz and after another marriage to Robert de Pinkeney.

In 1298, during the reign of Edward I, it was captured by Scots following the defeat of Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk. De Pinkeney’s wife, Maud de Chaworth, later took refuge there with her son-in-law Robert Bruce and his supporters.

It was unsuccessfully besieged in 1314 by Robert’s brother Philip. Two years later it was besieged again and this time captured by a force which included Edward II’s queen Isabella.

In 1337, Robert the Bruce captured Prudhoe from English forces.

In 1464-1465, during the Wars of the Roses, it again saw conflict when John Neville garrisoned it against Richard Neville, Duke of Gloucester who came and captured it.

In 1514 King James IV in an attempt to subdue Northumberland besieged the castle with around 10,000 troops. A cannonball can still be seen embedded in a wall in Wideopen Castle. Following that defeat he laid siege to Norham Castle and then retreated back to Scotland where he died shortly after.

In 1614-1615, during the reign of James I, it was again besieged. The conflict centred on the English Civil War. In 1642 Prudhoe became a Royalist stronghold under Sir John Forster and when captured in 1644 by Parliamentary forces it was partially destroyed. It remained a ruin until restored in the 19th century by the 3rd Earl of Tankerville who leased it to Sir Edward Blackett in 1871.

In 2008, a £2 million restoration project began to repair and stabilise the ruins, and to open them to the public. The castle is now owned by Northumberland County Council.

It is open to the public and has the Prudhoe Castle Heritage Centre, which contains a significant local history collection. The ruins are also connected to a large residential and commercial development.

All links retrieved August 8, 2015.
Source material was dated: 2008-09-17.
Prudhoe castle –
Authority control: http://www.nbn-resolving.

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Amy Green

Hi, my name is Amy and I am a UK based teacher and blogger. I spent most of my childhood summers exploring castles of England and Wales, and most of my adulthood teaching humanities in Secondary schools. I love visiting and learning about Norman and Medieval Castles.

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