Bywell Castle - Northumberland

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Bywell Castle

Location OS Landranger sheet 87 NZ 049619

A castle here first mentioned in 1122 following the death of Guy de Ballliol who may have built it in the 1090s.

The Castle stands in the grounds of a private residence.

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Print c1834
Print c1780

History

NZ 049619/Ruin/Private

It is generally considered that the present remains, close to the north bank of the river Tyne, may be based on castle founded by Guy de Balliol soon after 1094 and mentioned in 1122. The gatehouse, curtain wall and tower is of an early C15 castle, apparently uncompleted. The curtain wall and tower are incorporated into a C19 house, the gatehouse is free standing.

The earliest reference to the castle is in 1464, when Henry VI fled there after the battle of Hexham. He found shelter here for only a short time, since it was quickly surrendered to the victorious Lord Montague who found there the King's sword, helmet and crown and the trappings of a horse.

An extract from a survey of 1570 reads " Also in Bywell towne on the north syde of the ryver th' auncestours of th' erle of Westmoreland buylded a faire towre or gate house all of stone and covered with leade meanying to have proceded further, as the foundations declare beying the heyght of a man above the ground, which were never fynyshed.....and will sone decay yf yt be not mayntened" . A survey of 1608 refers to the Castle as being in decay. . The site overlooks a crossing of the River Tyne.

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