Warkworth Castle

Castle Warkworth Northumberland

Warkworth Castle

Castle In Warkworth, Northumberland

A ruined medieval castle in Warkworth standing over a loop of the River Coquet.

Towering above the village of Warkworth stands the majestic Warkworth Castle which can be seen from miles around. Whether you are travelling along the coast of journeying from inland, the sight of Warkworth castle in the distance is a joy to behold.  

Warkworth Castle may have been built in the 1150s when Henry II took control of Northumberland, leading to the building of other motte and bailey castles in the region, such as Harbottle. The first record of the castle, however, was mentioned in a charter around 1160 when Henry II granted the castle to Roger Fitz Richard, the prominent 12th century noble and Lord of Warkworth.

Like many of the castles in Northumberland, it played an important role in the war between England and Scotland. Between 1310 and 1330, the English struggled to deal with the Scottish raids in the North and the crown subsidised the maintenance of the Northumberland castles.

The Percy family took over the Warkworth estate in 1345, and although they owned the amazing Alnwick Castle, Warkworth was their preferred home. In 1377, Henry Percy was made the first Earl of Northumberland and commissioned the building of the prominent keep. This was possibly to show off his wealth to the owners of nearby Dunstanburgh Castle.

The Percys had a pretty eventful time at Warkworth: falling out with royals, family members being murdered and playing their part in the 1605 gunpowder plot. There is loads of information online about the family if you want to know more.

Warkworth Castle started falling in to disrepair in the early 1600s and with the unification of England and Scotland in 1603, the family no longer had need for 2 castles near the border, and Alnwick Castle was maintained at the expense of Warkworth. The castle was allowed to languish until the 18th century and restoration work wasn't carried out until the 19th century, when work was done on the keep between 1853 and 1858. The work is the reason the keep is still standing today.

The castle continues to be owned by the Percy family and is managed by the English Heritage. It is a grade I listed building and a scheduled ancient monument.

One of the most recognisable and picturesque castles in Northumberland, every angle shows something new.

One of the best times to visit is in the spring when the daffodils dominate the hill next to the keep. (Will see if I can dig that photo out).

A huge thanks to Paul Brunt for providing all of the photographs above.

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Where Is Warkworth Castle

Where Is It?

What three words
shippers.swaps.inflamed

Lat / Long
55.345852, -1.611783
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Where To Park?

There is a dedicated car park right outside the castle.

Sandra Clemens

Contributed by Sandra Clemens

I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.

More Places In Warkworth

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