Castle In Morpeth, Northumberland
A ruined Castle dating from the 11th Century and is Grade I listed.
Nestled on a little hillock just a few miles from Morpeth is this lovely little castle ruins.
Mitford Castle is a ruin dating from the 11th Century that is found in the picturesque village of Mitford. We went a few years ago and wandered all around the grounds which resembled Hobbiton from Lord Of The Rings (must try and dig those photos out), but now it is all fenced up with Keep Out signs, so just admire it from afar.
The best place to see it from is probably the road in front of the church.
Mitford Castle is of a Norman Motte and Bailey construction and has quite a fascinating history.
Prior to the 1066 Norman conquest the castle was held by Sir John de Mitford, whose only daughter and heiress, Sybilla Mitford, was given in marriage by William the Conqueror to the Norman knight, Richard Bertram.
In the late 11th century, it was an earthwork fortress of the Bertram family, and in 1215, it was seized by King John's troops. In 1264, the castle was held by the third Roger Bertram, but in that year, it was seized from him and committed to the custody of William de Valence, 1st Earl of Pembroke and the half brother of King Henry.
During the rebellion in Northumberland in the 1310s, Mitford Castle was seized from the Valence family by Sir Gilbert de Middleton and was used by Sir Gilbert for kidnappings and as a gaol for high-profile prisoners. However, de Middleton was seized and charged with treason, taken to the Tower of London and executed.
There are conflicting accounts over the castle's destruction. One theory is of a fire during Middleton's rebellion, while another is that it was destroyed by the Scots in May 1318 during Middleton's imprisonment in the Tower of London. It was certainly destroyed by 1323 as records of an inquest held that year after the death of its then owner Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, state Mitford Castle to be "entirely destroyed and burnt".
Finally a couple of spectacular winter shots from Phil Page.
For a longer walk we parked in Morpeth town centre and walked along the River Wansbeck to Mitford and looped back through the fields, stopping for a picnic by the river where we watched a Grey Wagtail feeding on the mayflies.
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The pedestrian gate is around 50m south west of the Church entrance and the Castle is visible from the roadside.
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On road parking is possible by Mitford Church or in the vicinity of the pedestrian gate to the Castle
Contributed by Andrew Gardner
I love being outdoors, in nature, and experiencing the relaxation it brings. Wandering through the northern countryside seeing unexpected buildings, historic places and occasionally surprised wildlife is one of life's great pleasures.
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