Etal Castle, Northumberland
Etal Castle lies high above the south bank of the River Till. A curtain wall 3 feet thick and 25 feet high surrounds a large courtyard. The south side is almost complete, the west fragmentary and nothing remains of on the east and west sides. A tower set within the courtyard, a tower house lies within the north west corner and an impressive gatehouse complete the castle. Today it is set within manicured lawns frames with fine trees that provides a lovely ruin to explore of a summers days.
~ History ~
1170's ~ The Manners family hold the manor of Etal.
1341 ~ Robert de Manners is granted a license to crenellate his manor house for the building of a stone castle.
1428 ~ Sir William Heron is killed whilst attacking the castle as a bitter fued between the Heron's of Ford and the Manners of Etal erupts into open warfare between the two families.
1438 ~ The castle is reported as 'ruined and therefore valueless', as a direct result of the attack on the castle ten years earlier, forcing the family to move elsewhere.
1513 ~ Etal Castle is occupied by the Collingwoods as tenants when it is besieged and captured by King James IV of Scotland, prior to his defeat at the Battle of Flodden against the English. Despite the castle being reportedly 'ruined', it was considered secure enough to house captured Scottish artillery protected with a small garrison.
1535 ~ It is reported of the castle "Henry Collingwood, the constable of it all keeps a good house".
1541 ~ A survey of the castle reports that the castle is in need of repair.
1547 ~ The castle passes from the Manners, Earls of Rutland, to the Crown.
1552 ~ The Deputy Warden of the East March makes Etal Castle his residence, despite it being "greatly decayed".
1575 ~ A commisioned report of the castle finds the castle in a good state of repair.
1584 ~ The castle is abandoned. It is later granted by King James I to George Home, Earl of Dunbar, from whom is passes through marriage to the Earl of Suffolk, who transfers it to Robert Carr.
1886 ~ James Laing purchases the castle from the Earl of Glasgow.