Ford Castle - Northumberland
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Ford Castle

Location OS Landranger sheet 74

NT 945375

How to get there From the A697 south of Coldstream take the B3653 then right onto the B3654

The Heron family acquired the castle following the death of Odinel de Ford in c1276

The castle is in the custody of Northumberland County Council

click on first picture for wide view

Old postcard of Ford Castle showing the Italian Garden


NT 945375/Habitable/Visible from Paths etc. The Heron family acquired the castle following the death of Odinel de Ford in c1276 and had a dwelling erected here and by 1287 this was probably a two story tower house. Sir William Heron was granted licence to crenellate in 1338.

The Castle was captured and dismantled by the Scots in 1385 but was repaired by William Heron. He was imprisoned by his enemies at Newcastle in 1388 one of these enemies being Henry Lilburn who captured Ford and Killed the garrison.

The Castle is mentioned in the 1415 list but no account of its condition is given. In 1430 it was noted as "the Ruined castle of Ford". In 1509 it was said to be capable of holding a garrison of 40 men. James IV of Scotland captured and burnt the castle in 1513 prior to his defeat at Flodden not far from Ford. The 1541 survey advises the the Castle was still not fully repaired since 1513.

The Castle came into the possession of the Carrs, who were then ejected by the Herons of Chipchase in 1557. Thomas Carr recovered the Castle but was murdered the following year. By 1584 the Castle was in a ruinous state and it was rendered untenable by the royalists in 1648.

Quadrangular type with four corner towers, three of which survive. It was converted into a mansion in 1694, Ford passed by marriage to the Delevals in 1718 it was given Gothic detail in 1761 by George Raffield for Sir John Hussey Deleval. Restored in a C17 style for Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford from 1862. The Castle is now in the ownership of Northumberland County Council and is used as an educational establishment.


Also:-Ruined medieval tower house, known as Parson's Tower (Vicar's Pele), situated south west of Ford Castle. It was the home of the local parson and as such was always separate from the nearby castle. It was damaged during the attack on the castle in 1513 and was restored following that attack by the vicar Sir Cuthbert Ogle. The remains comprise the basement stage of a tower built of coursed, squared, sandstone blocks, with chamfered set-back or plinth visible on three sides.

The tower is almost square in plan, measuring 10.1m by 10.5m externally, stands about 3.65m high and has walls about 2m thick enclosing a single chamber. Internally, the basement is covered by an east-west barrel vault and many bear masons marks. Various sockets and rooflines can be traced in the stonework externally and are associated with later buildings attached to the tower. These buildings no longer survive.

Since the medieval period the tower is reported as having been totally demolished in 1663, rebuilt in 1725 and enlarged in 1825. In the 1860s The Marchioness of Waterford had the top two stories demolished.

Other Northumberland castles


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