Harbottle Castle - Northumberland
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Harbottle Castle

Location OS Landranger sheet 81 NT 932048

How to get there Take A696 north out of Newcastle upon Tyne and follow B6344 to Rothbury. Take the B6341 west 5K to minor road right at Flotterton to Sharperton. In Sharperton follow road left down over bridge and follow Harbottle/Alwinton signs.

Built by Robert de Umfraville in the Late 1150's on being abandoned the castle provided a ready scource of building stone for the surrounding area.

The Castle is in the custody of Northumberland National Park

The Sad Castle

Who made me into a ruin like an old city?

Was it the soldiers who rode out on horseback?

Was it my old enemy the Scots?

Or was it those border reivers?

Perhaps it was just the centuries passing.

Felicity Lance 1997

A pupil of Harbottle School

stone carved by David Edwick

The information panel was taken from the board in the car park.>>>>


NT 932048/Ruin/Access

Early C12 motte-and-bailey castle later modified by the construction of a shell keep, defended by a curtain wall and tower, the bailey being used as a barmkin. In 1318 the castle was captured by Robert Bruce, was restored in 1336, but in ruins by 1351. It was repaired at the end of C14. Further building work took place between 1541 and 1551 and further repairs were made in 1563. Artillery fortifications were erected in C16.

The castle was quarried for stone in C17. The motte, 14m high, is 65m in diameter at the base and 30m at the top. There are C16 buildings on top. At the foot of the motte on the south side is a mass of fallen masonry said to be of C13 date. The motte ditch is up to 2m deep with traces of a counterscarp bank 0.3m high. The bailey was surrounded by a ditch 11m deep internally and 3.5m deep externally, with a counterscarp bank 0.3m high.

The curtain wall survives intermittently as an earthwork with some standing masonry.

Harbottle Castle is a scheduled ancient monument and a grade 1 listed building. It is managed under lease by Northumberland National Park Authority.


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Other Northumberland castles