Thursday 2 August 2018

Etal Castle

Etal Castle

Etal castle is a ruined medieval castle in the village of  Etal in Northumberland. It is situated close to the picturesque River Till and is about 10 miles form Berwick-Upon-Tweed on the B6354.

The castle was built about 1341 by Robert Manners to defend Etal against the Scots. The Manners family had lived in Etal since 1232. The castle comprised a gatehouse, corner tower and residential tower, all of which were protected by a defensive wall.

By the 1350's the castle was surrounded by an estate which included corn mills, cloth making, lime kilns and coal mines. Robert Manner's,  son John continue to expand the estate and when he died in 1402 the state was inherited by his son Robert and then by his son, another John Manners. John was involved in a long-running feud with the Heron family who owned the neighbouring Ford Castle. in 1428 following a fight outside Etal Castle William Heron died. After much wrangling and accusations John agreed to compensate William's widow. The property was passed down through several more generations of the Manners family who continued to live at the castle until the end of the 15th century. When George Manners inherited the title of Baron de Ros he moved his family closer to the royal court. Although the castle was abandoned by the family it was managed by the Collingwood family who rented the lands on the estate also.

During the border wars with Scotland the castle held a garrison of 100 men, helping to defend the location. In 1513 when James IV invaded England although Etal Castle surrendered it was deliberately damaged thus preventing its use as a defence. the following month after the battle of Flodden the castle was taken back by English troops. In 1547 the castle was bought from the Manners family by The Crown and used as a garrison. After James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne in 1603 Etal castle had no further use and passed into private ownership. In the 18th century it ceased to be used as a residence and fell into ruin. In 1908 the castle was bought by Lord Joicey, who started to slowly repair it and in 1975 it was placed into the guardianship of the state. 

The castle is open to the public and provides a fascinating insight into the history of the castle and its owners. Its setting overlooking the River inspired Thomas Girtin to paint the castle in 1797.

Painting Of Etal Castle By Thomas Girtin

Nearby Towers And Castles
      Ford Castle
    Norham Castle
      Duddo Tower

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