Tarset Castle - Northumberland

Tarset Castle

Location OS Landranger sheet 80 NY 788 854

How to get there Before Bellingham on B6320 take road left to Kielder. At Lanehead, take junction left .Tarset Castle is in the field on the right before crossing the railway bridge.

License to crenellate 1257 granted to John Comyn. The earliest surviving license to do so in Northumberland

Access to the Castle site is by arrangement with Tarset Hall farm

tel 01434 240358

The Castle is a mile north of Dally Castle

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History

NY 788854/Traces/Access

The Comyns, Scottish knights, were established in Tynedale in the 12th century and the manor of Tarset was granted to William Comyn in around 1222. Licence to crenellate was granted to John Comyn in 1267, the earliest surviving licence to do so in Northumberland. John was one of the contenders for the Scottish throne in 1292 and lost his English estates in the subsequent wars. They were returned to him just before he died in 1306. His son John sided with the English and was killed at Bannockburn, after which the castle was destroyed by the Scots.

Some standing masonry is visible to a maximum height of 1.5m at the north east and south east corners of the structure standing upon the uncovered remains of a stone plinth. The house is largely visible as the grassed over remains of a rectangular structure.This masonry is thought to represent two of the four square corner turrets known to exist at Tarset Castle.

In 1523 the house was occupied by Sir Ralph Fenwick and 80 men but was taken and burnt in 1525. In the survey of 1541 the Castle was decribed as " the Hall of Lord Burrowe's inheritance, the which was Burnt by the said Tyndalles sixteen years since........."There was an Excavation of the site in 1888 and soon afterward the stones were plundered for materials to build a cottage.

The Landslips on the steep slopes above the Tarset burn that can be seen on the photographs is giving cause for concern.This was reported on the BBC North East News 8 July 2008.

Tarsett; Tyrsete

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