When Chillingham Castle was still considered a monastery in the late 12th century, King Edward I stayed there on his way north to battle the Scots. The castle was located in a prime position during the medieval period; right between two warring nations. As such, it often hosted English armies heading north but was also occasionally put under siege by the Scots raiding south. In 1344, King Edward III ordered battlements to be built and for the monastery to have battlements built around it, enhancing the building into a fully fortified castle.
In the 16th century, the need for such military strongholds had declined, and the castle gradually evolved. The battlements were converted into residential wings and the moats were filled, as well as living rooms, a library and a banquet hall being built on the premises.
During World War Two, the castle functioned as a barracks, and fell into maltreatment. After the war, it was heavily in disrepair and stayed like that until Sir Humphrey Wakefield purchased the property in 1982 and began painstaking repairs and restorations throughout the building.
CHILLING STORIES OF GHOSTS
The current owners of the castle have marketed it as “the most haunted castle in Britain” which is no surprise, as the castle was host two at least eight well-recorded and famous executions over the years.There have been many sightings of ghosts by residents over the last few decades, who claimed to have seen blue halos of light above their bedheads at midnight, as well as hearing a child’s wailing emanating from the wooden walls.
The Blue Boy, a famous phantom, was heard to cry out at midnight in agony or fear shortly before a soft blue halo appeared over a four-poster bed in a tower bedroom and once, a young boy dressed all in shimmering blue was seen standing at the end of the bed. In 1920, bones of a small boy and (presumably) his father were found in the wall of the bedroom while workmen were cutting through the walls to make a new passage.
Another well-known ghost, Lady Mary Berkeley, often wanders around the south west turret stairs and her dress can be heard trailing across the floor most evenings. Many believe that she still searches for her errant husband; an earl who had escaped no less than three executions to die in his bed of old age. In later years, a broken hearted Lady Mary lived in the castle with only her baby girl as a companion.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
B1340 (Rd), Beadnell, Chathill
Northumberland, England, NE67 5BX
+44 (0)1665 720 586
- Address: Chillingham Castle, Chillingham, Alnwick, Northumberland, United Kingdom, NE66 5NJ
- GPS: 55.525909,-1.903582599999936
- Phone: 0044 (0)1668 215 359
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: NE66 5NJ
- Entrance Fees: Charges Apply
- Disabled Access: Good
- Visibility from Road: None
- Image Credits: Gail Johnson