A ruined reminder of the Border Wars that was originally built in 1341 by architect Lord Robert Manners. Etal Castle was comprised of a gatehouse, tower, and curtain wall – all protecting a central residence for the Lord’s family. The castle is one of many small fortifications built by local Lords during the years of feuding between rival noble English families. In 1513, during the Border Wars, it was captured by King James IV of Scotland, who would use it as a base of operations for a short time during his invasion. After King James IV inherited the English throne and united the two warring countries, Etal Castle was passed into the care of the Crown but soon fell into disrepair due to no longer being needed for defence against the Scots.
THE SCOTTISH ARE COMING!
When the Border Wars were in full swing between the north of England and Scotland, James IV of Scotland personally led the breakthrough into English lands with a large army supported by heavy artillery.
In the hopes of being spared the pillaging that had taken place in other settlements, the townsfolk of Etal quickly surrendered to James’ forces. The town was left unharmed, but James took charge of Etal Castle during his stay. Upon his departure it was slighted (the act of intentionally damaging a fortification to prevent its use) so that the retaliating English army could not garrison it.
After the castle changed hands once again near the end of the war, James IV finally broke through the last of the English defences to claim the throne of England. Etal Castle soon lost its military value, no longer being needed to defend against a now non-existent enemy, and fell quickly into disrepair. Although many attempted to remedy the damage done over the years, all projects were eventually abandoned in favour of leaving the ruins simply as a peaceful monument to be experienced by the public.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
B1340 (Rd), Beadnell, Chathill
Northumberland, England, NE67 5BX
+44 (0)1665 720 586
- Address: B6352(Just off), Etal, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom, TD12 4TN
- GPS: 55.647553,-2.120397
- Phone: 0044 (0)870 333 1181
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: TD12 4TN
- Entrance Fees: Yes
- Disabled Access: Good
- Visibility from Road: Good (signposted and entrance can be seen clearly)
- Image Credits: Header Image: Victor Denovan