British Listed Buildings

History in Structure

If you log in, you can comment on buildings, submit new photos or update photos that you've already submitted.

We need to upgrade the server that this website runs on. Can you spare a quid to help?.

Castle Curtain Walls with Gateway, Towers and Attached Buildings, Warkworth

Description: Castle Curtain Walls with Gateway, Towers and Attached Buildings

Grade: I
Date Listed: 31 December 1969
English Heritage Building ID: 237237

OS Grid Reference: NU2471905756
OS Grid Coordinates: 424719, 605756
Latitude/Longitude: 55.3452, -1.6118

Location: A1068, Warkworth, Northumberland NE65 0UJ

Locality: Warkworth
County: Northumberland
Country: England
Postcode: NE65 0UJ

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument, Warkworth Castle Motte and Bailey Castle, Tower Keep Castle and Collegiate Church, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Listing Text

NU 2405

22/346 Castle curtain
walls with
31.12.69 gateway, towers
and attached


Castle curtain walls with gateway, towers and attached buildings. C12 to C16
with some post-medieval patching. Earliest parts probably built by Earl
William (later William the Lion of Scotland); much later medieval remodelling
under the Percy family who held Warkworth from 1332 onwards; fell into ruin in
later C16. Squared stone of various types.

Plan: built on earlier motte-and-bailey, an irregular triangle with the
donjon (q.v.) on motte at the north apex. Great Gate Tower in centre of south
curtain, Carrickfergus Tower at south-west corner, Amble or Montagu Tower at
south-east corner. Near north of curtain walls are Grey Mare's Tail Tower on
east and West Postern Tower. Interior: Collegiate Church divides Inner and
Outer wards;Outer (south) Ward has principal apartments on west and chapel on

Exterior. Great Gate Tower of c.1200 has pointed arch in corbelled recess -
under wall-head machicolation, flanked by semi-octagonal towers with tall
polygonal buttresses at southern angles, battered bases and cruciform arrow
loops low in wall. Curtain east of gatehouse, 2-3 metres high, is post-
medieval rebuild on C13 foundations. Square late C15 four-storey Amble or
Montagu Tower, projecting to east, has slits to lower floors and 2-light
windows above. Taller C13 curtain west of gatehouse runs to polygonal C13
3-storey Carrickfergus Tower projecting to south; west part largely fallen.
Tall arrow loops on ground floor.

East curtain: north of Amble and Montagu Tower is East Postern with mutilated
pointed arch, and C13 projecting turret with 2 quatrefoil loops high in wall.
Beyond this the curtain is C12, heightened in C13. Semi-octagonal C13 Grey
Mare's Tail Tower is well preserved: battered base, tall arrow loops and
embattled parapet. C13 wall running up motte has large semi-octagonal

West curtain: C13 southern part has round-arched recess, with carved panel
above square-headed window, which probably held solar balcony. Windowless C12
centre part alongside hall; north lower post-medieval part and C14 section,
with chamfered set-backs and 2 relieving arches at base, joining West Postern
Tower which has slightly-pointed arch and square-headed windows on 2 floors
above; embattled parapet with cruciform loop on left return. C13 wall running
up motte has buttress as on east.

Beam sockets below parapets of curtains and tower held timber fighting

Interior: Great Gate Tower has passage with pointed barrel vault, with twin
portcullis slots and arrow slits in side walls. Flanking guard chambers have
similar vaults. Beyond guard chambers curving flights of stairs up to 1st
floor chamber. Chapel to west has piscina on south but otherwise much ruined.

Apartments on east side of Outer Ward largely remodelled in C15. Lion Tower
served as porch to north end of Hall (and to Collegiate Church) and has
diagonal buttresses flanking moulded arch. Large recessed panel above on fan
corbels with relief carvings of Percy lion and other emblems. Interior has
groin vault. Hall is much ruined but has pier bases and south respond, with
nailhead decoration, of C13 arcade; bases of 2 hearths; at south end broad
stair in thickness of curtain wall led up to solar. Little Stair Tower formed
second porch to south end of Hall, solar undercroft and Chapel: diagonal
buttresses, 4-centred archways, and remains of groin vault on 1st floor.
Newel stair in west wall rises to umbrella vault in taller turret capped by
stone spire. Service rooms and kitchen to north of hall much ruined.

Cruciform Collegiate Church, never completed, had aisled 4-bay nave and 2-bay
chancel: Lower courses and pier bases only, except for passage with Tudor-
arched ashlar vault beneath east end (link between inner and outer wards) and
2 chambers with similar vaults beneath choir and north transept.

Brewhouse or Laundry in Inner Ward, range of buildings (including stables)
along east curtain and range alongside east part of south curtain are mostly
reduced to footings. Detached well house in outer'ward similarly ruinous but
has well cleared to depth of 18 metres.

Listing NGR: NU2471805716

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.