Ravensworth Castle


Ravensworth Castle, County Durham
Photo © John Tollitt, 1 July 2009

Ravensworth Castle, County Durham
Photo © Philip Barker, 14 February 2010

Ravensworth Castle, County Durham
Photo © Hugh Mortimer, 18 March 2006

Ravensworth Castle is a ruinous Grade II* listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument situated at Lamesley, County Durham, England.

This medieval castle, probably of 14th century construction, was licensed in 1390 to enclose and empark land around the castle (CPR 1389-92 p. 395)

Early owners included Fitz-Marmaduke, Lumley and Gascoigne. In 1607, the castle was purchased by Thomas Liddell a wealthy Newcastle-upon-Tyne merchant and remained in the ownership of the Liddell family for over 350 years.

In 1724 Sir Henry Liddell built a substantial mansion within the curtilage of the castle, but this was demolished in 1808 by Sir Thomas Liddell and replaced by a grand house designed in the Gothic style by architect John Nash. The Duke of Wellington was entertained there in October 1827.

The Liddell family ceased to live at the castle in about 1910. It was briefly leased to a girls school but gradually fell into disrepair and decay. It was substantially demolished in about 1952 when it became unsafe due to mining subsidence, some of the stone was used to extend Hindley Hall. The ruinous remains have been scheduled by English Heritage in the Buildings at Risk Register.

The Castle was featured in a BBC television programme 'Restoration'.

It should be noted that there is another 'Ravensworth Castle', located in the village of Ravensworth in North Yorkshire, a few miles to the north of Richmond.

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