Thirlwall Castle, Northumberland
Pennine Way road, off B6318, A69
Thirlwall Castle is located in a very remote area in line with Hadrian's wall, from which it was built.
The name Thirlwall means "pierced wall" or "gap in wall" referring to nearby Hadrian's wall.
To get to the castle you can park in a dedicated car park located on the B6318 near the rear of some nearby cottages. Walk along the road towards the cottages where you will find a rough path that takes you along infront of them. This is the Pennine Way, follow it and it will take you across the nearby railway line, round the edge of a field up to the castle.
~ History ~
1250's ~ A fortified tower is built by the Thirlwall family, using stone taken from nearby Hadrian's wall.
1306 ~ The Thirlwalls entertain King Edward I at the tower as he leads his army north to invade Scotland. He never reaches Scotland, dying in sight of it, looking across the Solway Firth.
1330 ~ As a result of increased raids from across the Scottish Borders, additional fortifications are added to the tower.
1360's ~ The tower's continued development takes on the form of a strong castle in order to deter increasing levels of Scottish raids.
1415 ~ The castle is held by Roland de Thirlwall.
1485 ~ Sir Percival Thirlwall, one time owner of Thirlwall Castle, is killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field whilst fighting for King Richard III and the Yorkists against Henry Tudor. As Richard’s standard-bearer he is killed close to where his King has also fallen.
1541 ~ A survey of the castle records it as "in measurable good repair", held by Robert Thirwall.
1603 ~ The union of the crowns between England and Scotland finally begins to defuse border troubles and eventually see's the need for Thirlwall castle much reduced.
1640s ~ Long after the Thirlwall's have abandoned their castle, it is captured and slighted by the Scots, due to it being used during the Civil War as a supply depot for Parliament.
1710 ~ Following William Thirwall's death in nearby Hexham, the castle passes to his principle creditor, John Shaftoe.
It later passes through mariage to Matthew Swinburne.
1748 ~ The Earl of Carlisle purchases the castle. His son clears the interior of the castle of its fallen masonry and debris.
1813 ~ A visitor to the castle records "the great part of it has of late years been applied to building cottages".