Twizel Castle, Northumberland
10 miles south-west of Berwick Upon Tweed
Twizel Castle overlooking the beautiful River Till and Twizel Bridge is a really interesting ruin. It was once a medieval castle, but all that remains now is the shell of a fascinating folly built in the 18th century.
The 'castle' is accessible and is well worth exploring. The bridge below is much older and provided the crucial crossing point for King Henry VIII's army on their way to defeat the Scots at the Battle of Flodden and the death of King James IV of Scotland.
~ History ~
1415 ~ The castle of 'Twysill' is held by Sir John Heron.
1496 ~ Sir John's castle is destroyed by a Scottish army commanded by King James IV of Scotland and is abandoned.
1511 ~ Twizel Bridge is built across the River Till, providing the only dry crossing of the river between the Tweed and Etal.
1513 ~ During the Scottish Campaign between King James IV of Scotland and Queen Catherine of Aragon for King Henry VIII of England, both armies make use of this important crossing point. On the morning of the Battle of Flodden the English army crosses the bridge of their way to defeat the Scots in the largest battle ever fought between the two kingdoms. King James IV is also killed in the battle, becoming the last monarch from the island of Britain to suffer such a death.
Before his death King James IV held a council at 'Twesil'.
1520 ~ The estate is sold by the Heron's to the Selby family.
1561 ~ A survey notes 'there has been one tower, or pele, which is of ancient time decayed and cast down, and there remains one part or quarter thereof, and a barmkin about it'.
1685 ~ Sir Francis Blake purchases the estate from Selby'swidow for £1,944.
1738 ~ The Blake family move to nearby Tillmouth Hall.
1770 ~ Sir Francis Blake builds a folly castle on the site of what remains of the ruined castle.
1822 ~ Building of the 'castle' and its gardens are nearly complete when part of the castle is demolished for its stone for the completion of a new mansion at Tillmouth Park.