Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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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:
NU 24721 05816



22/347 The Donjon


Castle donjon. Early C15, remodelling of C13 keep; partial restoration 1853-8 by Anthony Salvin for Algernon 4th Duke of Northumberland. Squared stone. Square plan with a projecting bay at the centre of each face, with all angles canted; 3 storeys, with watch tower near centre rising another 3 floors. Central lantern or light well also carried drainage from the roofs.

Massive splayed plinth; 2nd floor string. C20 wooden stair up to raised doorway on west side of projecting south bay: studded double doors in hollow- chamfered 4-centred arch under taller similar arch; posterns in east side of south bay and near north end of west wall. Lower floors mostly have square- headed loops; some windows of 2 trefoil-headed lights under pointed arches on lst floor; 2nd floor windows mostly of 2 transomed trefoil-headed lights with blind panel tracery under square heads. Wall facing and dressings of south-west part and south bay renewed in C19. Taller transomed windows to Hall at east end of south wall and to Chapel in east bay. At 2nd-floor level north end of north bay has panel with Percy lion rampant and canted angles with worn shields. Top string course below fragmentary parapet. Watch tower- has semi-octagonal stair projection on north and chamfered loop windows.

Interior: Ground-floor rooms have 2-centred doorways and pointed or segmental barrel vaults. Lobby in south wing, with pitfall beneath floor, postern on east and porter's room to south-east, opens onto Entrance Hall flanked by Guard Room (with pit dungeon) and Pages' Room. Other ground-floor apartments are Beer and Wine cellars, Larder and Goods Hall. Broad principal stair in south bay leads up to Ante-Room and Hall; this has 3 moulded doors at west end to Buttery, Pantry and Kitchen; C16 fireplace on south; upper mural gallery at east end. North door into Chapel with canted apse, cusped sedile, ogee-arched piscina and angel corbels flanking east window; sacristy on south; former family gallery over west part has 3-light window to ligh well. Solar, to north of light well, with moulded square-headed fireplace. Lofty kitchen to north-west has pair of massive fireplaces. Small mural stairs from Hall down to Wine Cellar, Kitchen to Goods Hall and Buttery to Beer Cellar. 2nd floor removed, except in south-west part and south bay where floors, some fireplaces and panelled ceilings are Cl9 restorations. Watch Tower has original newel stair.

Mural chambers with garderobes, small fireplaces, wall lockers, sinks and drains throughout.

Without a detailed examination it is difficult to ascertain how much C13 fabric survives; the layout of the ground floor chambers is probably original although the walls were refaced externally and some of the vaults rebuilt in the C15. A similar cruciform plan is seen c.1200 in the keep at Trim in Ireland. The C15 remodelling of the upper floors is a notable piece of military-cum-domestic planning.

Listing NGR: NU2472405727


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

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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

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Date: 12 Apr 2006
Reference: IOE01/15200/23
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John Spence. Source Historic England Archive
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