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Callaly Castle Old & New

Location OS Landranger sheet 81

NU 061098 NU 052099

How to get there The "Old" Castle is in Thrunton Wood.The "New" close to Callaly Village. Leave A697 on minor road for Whittingham Village take minor road south west.

The first Castle built by the Callaly's may have been a site 650 yards North of the house where there are traces of a motte and baily Castle.

The "Old" castle is visited in Thrunton walk 2

This is a really peaceful corner of Northumberland.

Old Callaly Castle

It is considered that an Iron age fort on Castle Hill was adapted by the Callaly family as the location for their Castle

New Callaly Castle

The Claverings 1670's House extended in 1890

The "New" Castle is a Mansion house used as Private apartments there is no public access. The pictures shown here were from permission granted. With thanks NBM.

Its always good to see old walls being refurbished and this is a great example of the skill on the roadside between Whittingham and Callaly


Old NU 052099/Traces/Access

The Callaly family are thought to have adapted an oval Iron Age Fort into a Castle in the 12th Century. This site is on Castle Hill. PastScape records as "A small multivallate hillfort of Iron Age date surviving as an earthwork." To some it is considered that the work was never finished, perhaps this having been a more peaceful period or due to the family's finances. This was not the first location for what was perhaps a castle in the area for there are earthworks to the north of the present house on the opposite side of the Callaly Burn at NU 052105 these may be the remains of a Motte & Bailey Castle.

New NU 061098/traces/No Access

Built on what is locally known as Shepherd's Shaw. The C17 to early C19 country house, incorporates the medieval C12 pele-tower which forms the west wing. Outstanding internal and external architecture of several periods.

The move to this site from Castle Hill has a story which some considered supernatural, but in Frank Graham's " The Castles of Northumberland" is quoted the 1862 story by George Tait in the Alnwick Mercury that the Lord of Callaly commenced to build the castle on the hill but his Lady preferred to live in the vale. He stubbornly continued to build his castle and she having failed to persuade him, resorted to the superstitious feelings of the age. One of her servants dressed as a boar would nightly climb the hill and pull down all that had been build in the day. It was soon whispered that spiritual powers were opposed to the work and when the lord had the work watched one night, the prospect of the boar had become so great that when it emerged from the wood his men beheld a monstrous animal of great power. The boar cied out among the tumbled stones "Callaly Castle built on the hight,/Up in the day and down in the night,/Builded down in the Shepherd's Shaw/ It shall stand for aye and never fa'". Needless to say the work on Castle Hill was abandoned.


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