Brinkburn Priory was founded by William Bertram, Baron of Mitford during the reign of Henry I. It was founded as an Augustinian priory. Approximately 1180 Brinkburn became a private home and a monastic church was built. In 1919 the home survived being raided and robbed. In 1535 the home was reported to be of little value though services continued to be held there and the property was kept in fair condition. In the 1600 the property fell into decay and the roof eventually collapsed. The property was deserted and then purchased by the Fenwick family in the late 1600s. A manor house was built upon the ruins of the original priory buildings adjacent to the ruins of the church. In the 19th century the properties current owners the Cadogan family began full restoration of the church. The roof was completed within a year and by 1864 the structure sported new stained glass windows. This property stands majestically restored, services are held within the peaceful, tranquil walls and visitors are welcome.
Besay Hall Castle and Gardens in Northumberland is a fine example of a medieval castle. This castle stands on thirty acres of beautifully landscaped property. Belsay Hall is constructed as a classical ‘Greek Revival’ villa and has an awe inspiring two story ‘Pillar Hall’ at its center.
Should you decide to visit this historic medieval castle, don’t miss viewing the crystal horse ‘lucky spot’ who was inspired and designed by and for this magical place. Lucky Spot is made of thousands of crystals spinning and twirling in the light breeze, casting rainbows of light across the ageless stone walls of the castle.
The medieval ruins of Harbottle Castle stands on a mound at the west end of Harbottle villiage. This majestic keep was thought to have been used by the ancient Britons and is also thought to have been a stronghold held by Mildred, son of Ackman in Saxon times. The structure that currently stands on the lands was constructed approximately 1160 by the Umfraville family as requested by King Henry II. The land had been awarded after the Norman Conquest. In 1174, the Scots overran the castle, making it their own and rebuilding it even stronger, so strong that it withstood a siege by Robert de Ros and 40,000 men. In 1310, the castle was captured by Robert the Bruce and it was fully restored in 1336, the restoration didn’t last long as it was again in ruins by 1351. Again restored, the castle hosted the family of the Warden of the Middle Marches and was used as a prison. After passing through many ownerships, the castle was again in ruins in 1715. The structure still remains in ruins, a testament to it’s violent past. Visitors are welcome to walk it’s historic walkways and stroll it’s long empty vestibules, don’t forget to read the child’s poem engraved in stone on the grounds. This castle exudes the power of its place in history.
Woodhouses Bastle, also having been known as Hepple woodhouses, Holystone Grange and Harecluegh, is very basically a fortified farmous that was built to protect the farmer, his family and his lifestock from Border Reivers. The basement was set up to hold animals while the upstairs area was the family living area. The home has only a few small windows that allow light in and two stone wall cupboards. There is a stone sink and also what looks like possibly an original fireplace. The property was renovated, increasing the height, adding an attic and re-roofing was performed in 1904. The property was again restored in 1980.