Aydon Castle, Aydon, Northumberland

Aydon Castle, Aydon, Northumberland
Photograph taken 22 May 2006 © Mr Steve Miller. Source Historic England Archive ref: 239858

This is a medieval fortified manor house. Its building began in c1280, before the 14th century Border wars. By 1305 most of the buildings were complete. Also in 1305 Edward I granted its owner, Robert de Raymes, a licence to crenellate. The earliest stone buildings are the hall, chamber block and the garderobe. They date to between 1280 and 1300. Between 1300 and 1305, battlemented walls were built to the north, enclosing the buildings within an inner courtyard. Following the king's licence, parapets were added to the domestic buildings and the inner courtyard wall. The building of the outer courtyard was begun and completed by 1315. The D-shaped tower probably dates to the mid-14th century. Because the curtain wall appears never to have been a strong defensive line and because there was no gatehouse at the castle entrance, it was rapidly surrendered to the Scots in 1315. In the 16th or 17th century, the eastern part of the outer courtyard was divided off to create an orchard. In the 18th century the manor became a farmhouse on the Matfen estate. This is when farm buildings were built in the middle courtyard. This property is now in the care of English Heritage (2010).