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Ref.nr.: 34731

Warkworth Castle, England

Warkworth Castle

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Historic Buildings and Monuments


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Opening Hours:
Open 7 days a week April to End of Ocotber Open Sat/Sun/Mon November to March Closed 24-26 Dec and 1st Jan

Warkworth Castle Stately Home in Warkworth, Northumberland, England


One of the most impressive fortresses in northern England, dating back to the 12th century.

The magnificent cross-shaped keep of Warkworth, crowning a hilltop rising steeply above the River Coquet, dominates one of the largest, strongest and most impressive fortresses in northern England. The castle’s most famous owners were the Percy family, whose lion badge can be seen carved on many parts of their stronghold. Wielding almost kingly power in the north, their influence reached its apogee under the first Earl of Northumberland and his son ‘Harry Hotspur’, hero of many Border ballads as the bane of Scots raiders and a dominant character in Shakespeare’s Henry IV. Having helped to depose Richard ii, these turbulent ‘kingmakers’ both fell victim to Henry IV: the next three Percy Earls likewise died violent deaths.

Still roofed and almost complete, the uniquely-planned keep dates mainly from the end of the 14th century. It presides over the extensive remains of a great hall, chapel, fine gatehouse and a virtually intact circuit of towered walls.

Half a mile from the castle, tucked away by the Coquet and accessible only by boat, stands a much more peaceful building: the late medieval cave Hermitage and chapel of a solitary holy man.

© English Heritage. For more English Heritage properties in the region please visit the English Heritage website.

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