Haughton Castle

Haughton Castle, Northumberland
Photo © Peter McDermott, 26 April 2009

Haughton Castle, Northumberland
Photo © Peter McDermott, 26 April 2009

Haughton Castle[1] is a privately owned country mansion situated to the north of the village of Humshaugh on the west bank of the River North Tyne about 6 miles (10 km) north of Hexham, Northumberland, England.

It was built originally in the 13th century as a tower house and enlarged and fortified in the 14th century. At this time the castle was owned by Gerald Widdrington and, although it was still owned by the Widdringtons in the early 14th century, the Swinburns were living in it.

By the 16th century the castle fell into disrepair and ruin and it was attacked by Border reivers. A survey of 1541 reported the roof and floors to be "decayed and gone".

The property was acquired by the Smith family in about 1640, but in 1715 a further survey stated the building to be ruinous.

Significant alterations were carried out for the Smiths between 1816 and 1845, latterly by architect John Dobson to convert the ruin into a substantial mansion. The Crawshaw family came into possession in 1862 and a west wing was added for them by Anthony Salvin in 1876.

It is now an oblong tower house and one of the best preserved hall houses in the north of England. It is a Grade I listed building. In 1888 it was acquired by the Cruddas family and it is currently owned by the Braithwaite family.

Early area history

The earliest recorded history of the local area around Haughton Castle is defined by the construction of Hadrian's Wall, one of the most noted Roman monuments in Britain, constructed in 122 AD. The extent of Hadrian's Wall is 117 kilometres, spanning the width of Britain; the wall incorporated Agricola's Ditch and was created chiefly of stone in the eastern reaches such as near Haughton Castle. The wall was designed primarily to prevent raids by small Pictish bands or unwanted immigration from the north, not as a fighting line for a major invasion.[2]


  1. ^ Plantagenet Somerset Fry, The David & Charles Book of Castles, David & Charles, 1980. ISBN 0-7153-7976-3
  2. ^ S. Johnson (2004) Hadrian's Wall, Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 128 pps, ISBN 0713488409


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