Morpeth Castle

Morpeth Castle, Northumberland - Gatehouse
Photo © C.G.Burke, 21 August 2006

Morpeth Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building at Morpeth, Northumberland, in northeast England.

The original motte and bailey dating from the 11th century was destroyed about 1215. A new castle was built in the bailey of the original in the 1340s, but little of that structure survives apart from parts of the curtain wall and the much altered gatehouse.

The castle was held by and passed by the female line through several illustrious families; de Merlay, Greystoke, Dacre and Howard, none of whom resided there for any long period.

In about 1858, the gatehouse was restored and converted to provide a staff residence. In 1946, the castle was acquired by the Borough of Morpeth, but stood empty and neglected till 1960.At this time it was rented by builder Billy Bell, who refurbished it, building on a kitchen and swimming pool. He also looked after the gardens and for a period it was used as a family home for his large family. The next occupiers (the trust) returned the property to its former style, losing the kitchen and pool. It lost its family-home style and became just another rented property for weekenders when in 1988, it was sold to Landmark Trust, which carried out refurbishments to the property in order to offer the gatehouse to let as holiday accommodation.

The Lordship of the Manor of Morpeth Castle was sold separately at some point. The current Lord of the Manor of Morpeth Castle, one Camilo Agasim-Pereira of Fulwood & Dirleton, Baron of Fulwood & Dirleton, became the Lord of the Manor in 1999. It is unlikely that he would have inherited the lordship, but that would not prevent the division of ownership of the lordship from the castle proper being the subject of a perfectly legal conveyance.


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