British Listed Buildings

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Belsay Castle, Belsay

Description: Belsay Castle

Grade: I
Date Listed: 27 August 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 238494

OS Grid Reference: NZ0847578554
OS Grid Coordinates: 408475, 578554
Latitude/Longitude: 55.1013, -1.8687

Location: Belsay, Northumberland NE20 0ET

Locality: Belsay
County: Northumberland
Country: England
Postcode: NE20 0ET

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument, Belsay Tower House and Attached Unfortified Wing, Deserted Medieval Village, Possible Moated Site, Promontory Fort and Watch Post, 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

NZ 0878

26/7 Belsay Castle
27.8.52 (formerly listed as
Nos 1 and 2 Old Castle

GV ll

Towerhouse with attached house. c.1370, attached house added 1614, possibly
around earlier core, by Thomas Middleton and Dorothy, his wife. Ruined fragments
of early C18 west wing attached to left.

Squared stone and ashlar. Tower has lead roof, house is roofless.
Tower of 3 storeys stepped in at first floor. Chamfered plinth. South side:
on ground floor a slit window; on first floor a large 2-light mullioned-and-
transomed window with cinquefoil heads to lights, and left of this a smaller
2-light mullioned window with trefoiled heads; on 2nd floor a 2-light mullioned
window with cinquefoil heads. Battlemented machicolated parapet on close-set
triple-step corbels; higher round corner turrets on multi-moulded corbels;
turret to left is higher still and flanked by square projections. North side:
C19 doorway; 2-light mullioned-and-transomed window on 1st floor and smaller
2-light mullioned window on 2nd floor both with cinquefoil heads to lights.
Garderobe chute. West side: (i.e. now within attached house) has a recessed
centre section, and set within it a doorway with pointed arch and chamfered
surround; on the 1st floor a Tudor-arched blocked doorway, and on the 2nd floor,
largely covered by a C19 external stack, a pointed-arched doorway with chamfered
House of 2 storeys has original 2-storey porch with round-headed multi-mullioned
doorway flanked by paired Tuscan columns; Middleton coat of arms above doorway
in moulded frame and inscription above that; on 1st floor a 5-light mullioned-
and-transomed window. Walling and windows to right of porch seem partly original;
other external features of mid C19 in similar style.

Attached to north side of tower is a 2-storey barn, altered C18 and C19 but
largely of medieval masonry. It has, on east side, a blocked 2-light mullioned
window and several blocked small C16 windows; on the west side, five C18 bays
with doorway in 4th bay; all openings have raised surrounds and are now boarded

Interior: The plan of the tower shows on each floor a large chamber taking up
the whole eastern side, with short projecting wings on either side of the
entrancecontaining staircase, smaller rooms and garderobes.

Large pointed tunnel-vaulted kitchen on ground floor has fireplace with
segmental arch. Hall on 1st floor has traces of C15 mural decoration. The
stair has an umbrella vault above with 8 chamfered ribs.

Belsay: English Heritage : HBMC. 1984.

An account of Belsay Castle in the County of Northumberland by Sir Arthur E.
Middleton Bart: privately printed 1918. Belsay Castle and the Scottish Tower
Houses: Archaeolgia Aeliana 4th Series XVII, 1940.

Listing NGR: NZ0848678550

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.