Warkworth Castle - Sarah Woodbury

Warkworth Castle

Warkworth Castle is a medieval castle first built in the 12th century. It is located in Northumbria above the River Coquet. Though the castle was probably a seat of the Saxon earls of Northumbria before the Norman conquest of England, Warkworth initial construction as a motte and bailey castle is credited to Henry, the son of King David of Scotland, after he became Earl of Northumberland in 1139. Henry II, after the death of both King David and his son, repossessed Northumberland after 1150, granting it to Roger fitz Eustace. His son, Robert built the castle we see today starting in 1199. The castle then played an important role not only in the wars with Scotland, but in the internal wars within England, having passed to the powerful Percy family, who played a role in the deposing of Richard III, the War of the Roses, the Gunpowder Plot, and the English Civil War. Cromwell is credited with making the castle indefensible.

Even after all that, the Percy’s still retained ownership, and in the 18th and 19th centuries, sought to restore much of the castle as the Duke of Northumberland. This included rebuilding the castle wall and restoring the great tower. The castle was given over to the state in 1922, except for the Duke’s rooms, which were retained by the duke and duchess until 1987.


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