DATE                                      14.05.06

DISTANCE                              ABOUT 2.2. MILES

WEATHER                              BRIGHT AND DRY

START / FINISH                      ROADSIDE PARKING SEE MAP

Mitford Castle

After our earlier trip to the Grotto at Hartburn see: -    http://www.onefootinnorthumberland.co.uk/HART_06.htm

 We still had a few spare hours before we had to be home so we both decided to call in at Mitford Castle which as luck would have it was on our way home anyway so that was easily sorted, even though it was just down the road from us it was only very recently that we had become aware of its existence, make me wonder how much other stuff is on my doorstep that I don’t know about , I mean I have lived here for quite a few years now but after talking to my neighbour who has lived here all his life he hadn’t heard about it neither , I suppose it could be that there are so many other old ruined castles in Northumberland its easy to overlook and forget about one , anyway this afternoon that would all change.

A bit of info about the castle:-

Mitford Castle was built around 1070 by the Bartram family and would have been an earthwork fortification at that time. In 1138 it was described as the main settlement of William Bartram when it was attacked by the Scots.

 In 1215, during the civil war in the reign of King John, the castle was seized by King John's forces and the barony stripped from Roger Bartram and given to Hugh de Balliol. The castle then withstood a siege by Scotland's Alexander II in 1216.

 Mitford Castle was finally dismantled and in 1327 was described as wholly burned.

 20th century excavations revealed the remains of a mid-12th century chapel, which is now a Grade I listed building, and an earlier burial ground. Stones from the castle were used to build a Jacobean mansion house, the ruins of which still stand at the site. The castle has public access.

We quickly found the site and parked up on the roadside , boots where put on and off we went , we had somehow managed to find another leaflet on the net showing a small walk around the site , it wasn’t far so we decided that we would have a mooch around the site then do the walk which wasn’t far and basically just went round the outside and down to the river , Living in Northumberland we have see and mooched around dozens of old castles from huge ones that are still lived in to ones that are literally just a small pile of rubble so we didn’t really have a clue of what to expect . As luck would have it as we entered the “site” field we where both pleasantly suppressed with what we saw , then as luck would have it we bumped into a local who told us about the ruins and how they had been recently “fixed” and made safe and what the future  planes where going / might  be .

After that we had a wander around following the well marked footpath, all very easy walking, through a field of sheep with there lambs, crept past a field of cattle keeping close to the fence just in case as it was the cattle just totally ignored us, down along a small section of the river Wansbeck and it weir then though some woodland with the bluebells and wild garlic then back to the ruins , we did about 2.2 miles but it wasn’t about the distance today it was all about mooching around , Mitford Castle or ruins of  is well worth a mooch around if you in the area .

A few photos

First view of Mitford castle

 

Old ww2 pillbox guarding the sheep

 

A few more photos of the ruins

Talking about ruins …..My better half Yvonne

 

Side shot

 

Some of the younger locals

 

Off on our wander now

 

Lots of blue bells

 

Wild garlic

 

More bluebells

 

Cattle (we crept past these being the brave sort of people we are)

 

More bluebells

 

The river Wansbeck

 

Small bridge across err! Nothing really

 

Old bridge

 

Some local wild flowers

 

Weir across the Wansbeck

Close up

 

Now heading back into the ruins

 

A few more photos as we mooch around

Heading back towards the car

 

Yvonne explaining where she will stick this pole if I don’t buy her tea tonight

 

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