Aydon Castle

Aydon Castle Details

Aydon Castle, a well-preserved multi-phase castle and manorial centre open as a tourist attraction

  • Closest To: Corbridge
  • Access: Chargeable Public Access
  • Grid Reference: NZ001663

Aydon Castle is a truly exceptional survival. With a solar hall and residential range dating to the late 13th century built for the Suffolk merchant Hugh de Reymes, strengthened by the addition of a battlement-crowned courtyard wall about 1305, the complex was strengthened with an outer courtyard wall by about 1315, when the Scots had started raiding over the border – and successfully captured and burned Aydon. As Reymes had been captured at Bannockburn, and been forced to ransom himself for 500 marks, his finances were badly damaged, and the increasing warfare and raids devastated Aydon, so that when he died in 1324, his estate was virtually worthless. Robert’s son repaired the place, but it was sacked by the Scots again in 1346. By 1450, the family were no longer using the place for themselves, and there were tenants who had let the place fall into disrepair. In the mid 16th century, it was exchanged for iother estates with the Carnaby family of Hexham, who repaired the buildings and brought Aydon back into use.

The Carnaby family continued to upgrade the buildings until the mid 17th century, when it was sold to William Collinson, and his son Henry was the last owner to live at Aydon. He sold the property to William Douglas of Matfen, who maintained it as a farming property until 1966, when it passed into State care. Today the building is an English Heritage property, and a considerable portion of the medieval fabric survives, enabling a really good understanding of the buildings and how the lords of Aydon lived. It is highly recommended.

English Heritage’s Aydon Castle website

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