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Description: The Donjon
Date Listed: 1 September 1988
English Heritage Building ID: 237238
OS Grid Reference: NU2472105816
OS Grid Coordinates: 424721, 605816
Latitude/Longitude: 55.3458, -1.6117
WARKWORTH WARKWORTH CASTLE
22/347 The Donjon
Castle donjon. Early C15, remodelling of C13 keep; partial restoration 1853-8
by Anthony Salvin for Algernon 4th Duke of Northumberland. Squared stone.
Square plan with a projecting bay at the centre of each face, with all angles
canted; 3 storeys, with watch tower near centre rising another 3 floors.
Central lantern or light well also carried drainage from the roofs.
Massive splayed plinth; 2nd floor string. C20 wooden stair up to raised
doorway on west side of projecting south bay: studded double doors in hollow-
chamfered 4-centred arch under taller similar arch; posterns in east side of
south bay and near north end of west wall. Lower floors mostly have square-
headed loops; some windows of 2 trefoil-headed lights under pointed arches
on lst floor; 2nd floor windows mostly of 2 transomed trefoil-headed lights
with blind panel tracery under square heads. Wall facing and dressings of
south-west part and south bay renewed in C19. Taller transomed windows to
Hall at east end of south wall and to Chapel in east bay. At 2nd-floor level
north end of north bay has panel with Percy lion rampant and canted angles
with worn shields. Top string course below fragmentary parapet. Watch tower-
has semi-octagonal stair projection on north and chamfered loop windows.
Interior: Ground-floor rooms have 2-centred doorways and pointed or segmental
barrel vaults. Lobby in south wing, with pitfall beneath floor, postern on
east and porter's room to south-east, opens onto Entrance Hall flanked by
Guard Room (with pit dungeon) and Pages' Room. Other ground-floor apartments
are Beer and Wine cellars, Larder and Goods Hall. Broad principal stair in
south bay leads up to Ante-Room and Hall; this has 3 moulded doors at west end
to Buttery, Pantry and Kitchen; C16 fireplace on south; upper mural gallery at
east end. North door into Chapel with canted apse, cusped sedile, ogee-arched
piscina and angel corbels flanking east window; sacristy on south; former
family gallery over west part has 3-light window to ligh well. Solar, to
north of light well, with moulded square-headed fireplace. Lofty kitchen to
north-west has pair of massive fireplaces. Small mural stairs from Hall down
to Wine Cellar, Kitchen to Goods Hall and Buttery to Beer Cellar. 2nd floor
removed, except in south-west part and south bay where floors, some fireplaces
and panelled ceilings are Cl9 restorations. Watch Tower has original newel
Mural chambers with garderobes, small fireplaces, wall lockers, sinks and
Without a detailed examination it is difficult to ascertain how much C13
fabric survives; the layout of the ground floor chambers is probably original
although the walls were refaced externally and some of the vaults rebuilt in
the C15. A similar cruciform plan is seen c.1200 in the keep at Trim in
Ireland. The C15 remodelling of the upper floors is a notable piece of
Listing NGR: NU2472405727
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.