Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NZ 08475 78554



26/7 Belsay Castle 27.8.52 (formerly listed as Nos 1 and 2 Old Castle Cottages)

GV ll

Towerhouse with attached house. c.1370, attached house added 1614, possibly around earlier core, by Thomas Middleton and Dorothy, his wife. Ruined fragments of early C18 west wing attached to left.

Squared stone and ashlar. Tower has lead roof, house is roofless. Tower of 3 storeys stepped in at first floor. Chamfered plinth. South side: on ground floor a slit window; on first floor a large 2-light mullioned-and- transomed window with cinquefoil heads to lights, and left of this a smaller 2-light mullioned window with trefoiled heads; on 2nd floor a 2-light mullioned window with cinquefoil heads. Battlemented machicolated parapet on close-set triple-step corbels; higher round corner turrets on multi-moulded corbels; turret to left is higher still and flanked by square projections. North side: C19 doorway; 2-light mullioned-and-transomed window on 1st floor and smaller 2-light mullioned window on 2nd floor both with cinquefoil heads to lights. Garderobe chute. West side: (i.e. now within attached house) has a recessed centre section, and set within it a doorway with pointed arch and chamfered surround; on the 1st floor a Tudor-arched blocked doorway, and on the 2nd floor, largely covered by a C19 external stack, a pointed-arched doorway with chamfered surround. House of 2 storeys has original 2-storey porch with round-headed multi-mullioned doorway flanked by paired Tuscan columns; Middleton coat of arms above doorway in moulded frame and inscription above that; on 1st floor a 5-light mullioned- and-transomed window. Walling and windows to right of porch seem partly original; other external features of mid C19 in similar style.

Attached to north side of tower is a 2-storey barn, altered C18 and C19 but largely of medieval masonry. It has, on east side, a blocked 2-light mullioned window and several blocked small C16 windows; on the west side, five C18 bays with doorway in 4th bay; all openings have raised surrounds and are now boarded up.

Interior: The plan of the tower shows on each floor a large chamber taking up the whole eastern side, with short projecting wings on either side of the entrancecontaining staircase, smaller rooms and garderobes.

Large pointed tunnel-vaulted kitchen on ground floor has fireplace with segmental arch. Hall on 1st floor has traces of C15 mural decoration. The stair has an umbrella vault above with 8 chamfered ribs.

Belsay: English Heritage : HBMC. 1984.

An account of Belsay Castle in the County of Northumberland by Sir Arthur E. Middleton Bart: privately printed 1918. Belsay Castle and the Scottish Tower Houses: Archaeolgia Aeliana 4th Series XVII, 1940.

Listing NGR: NZ0848678550


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Belsay, (1984)
Middleton, A, An Account of Belsay Castle in the County of Northumberland, (1918)
'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Archaeologia Aeliana, , Vol. 17, (1940)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 18 Jun 2000
Reference: IOE01/02628/29
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Brian Pearson. Source Historic England Archive
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