Cartington Castle

Castle Rothbury Northumberland

Cartington Castle

Castle In Rothbury, Northumberland

A lovely little 12th century ruined castle just outside of Rothbury.

This charming castle is located a few miles north of Rothbury and was constructed sometime in the 12th century with a pele tower being added in the 14th century.

The castle is on private land, but there are views of it from the road. Persmission to access is strictly by prior agreegment with Cartington Farm.

All photographs kindly supplied by Bryan Tait.

And here is some wonderful history from

Cartington Castle is a partially restored castle high above the River Coquet two miles outside the market town of Rothbury. It is not known exactly when the castle was constructed, but the first record of an owner of Cartington Castle comes from 1154. To this early castle, a pele tower was added in the 14th century.

In 1422 John Cartington was granted a license to crenellate. It was probably this same John Cartington who extended the buildings to include a great hall and courtyard. The castle was held by royalist troops in the Civil War, and as a result, it was besieged by Parliament in 1648.

The castle defenders held out only briefly, and the castle was then slighted by Parliament to make it unusable for defence. The tower house was last occupied in the middle of the 19th century. The castle was restored by Lord Armstrong in 1867. During the restoration, a small 15th-century wooden cross was discovered, along with coins from the reigns of Charles II and George I.

Several small carvings were also found in the area of the castle chapel. The castle ruins are quite extensive and show that the original fortification was a walled enclosure with a tower at each corner. This early layout seems to have been interrupted before it could be finished, and the north-east turret was replaced by a fortified tower house. This tower house formed the core of the medieval castle, though it was extended in the 15th century.

The eastern side of the castle site is a small rectangular courtyard. There are turrets at the north-east and south-east corners. The northern turret is only partially complete but the southern turret still stands and includes a garderobe. At the south-west corner stand the ruins of a tower destroyed in the Civil War siege.

The northern side of the courtyard is occupied by a complex of buildings, mostly in a ruinous state. Here is a 14th-century tower, a great hall and secondary chambers. You can see where large windows were inserted into the great hall during the Tudor period. At the south-west corner are the remains of a stair turret.

You can see evidence of a terrace enclosure and the remains of a garden enclosure for the tower house.

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Where Is Cartington Castle

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55.334775, -1.940419
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Where To Park?

There is no clear parking and as the castle is on private land, why not sit back and look at our pictures and video instead.

Simon Hawkins

Contributed by Simon Hawkins

Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue Pele tower up a remote hill or a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.

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