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Bywell Castle Gatehouse

A Grade I Listed Building in Bywell, Northumberland

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Latitude: 54.9507 / 54°57'2"N

Longitude: -1.9244 / 1°55'27"W

OS Eastings: 404942

OS Northings: 561784

OS Grid: NZ049617

Mapcode National: GBR HC06.53

Mapcode Global: WHB2G.DTWL

Plus Code: 9C6WX32G+77

Entry Name: Bywell Castle Gatehouse

Listing Date: 15 April 1969

Last Amended: 24 May 1988

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1370558

English Heritage Legacy ID: 239836

Location: Bywell, Northumberland, NE43

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Bywell

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Bywell St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Tagged with: Castle

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NZ 0461
23/75 Bywell Castle
15.4.69 Gatehouse (previously
listed as Bywell Castle)


Castle gatehouse, early C15 for Ralph Neville, second Earl of Westmorland.
Squared stone (with re-used Roman material). Rectangular tower-house/gatehouse,
with principal apartments above central gate passage and flanking chambers.
Original external elevation to south 3 storeys. Chamfered plinth and 1st floor
set back. Central 4-centred gateway arch of 2 chamfered orders with portcullis
slot between, with old pegged and panelled double doors, that to left with small
porter's door; small square-headed post-medieval openings to either side. 1st
floor has 2 windows of 2 trefoil-headed lights under Tudor arches, and square-
headed chamfered window to left; 2 more similar 2-light windows on 2nd floor.
Most 2-light windows have lost their mullions. Embattled parapet, oversailing
a hollow-chamfered course, has central section set forward on 5 moulded corbels.
Taller angle turrets have corbelled-out octagonal tops with machicolations.
To right, attached curtain wall (q.v.).

Left return shows corbelled-out garderobe projection and small chamfered windows.
Right return shows partly-blocked 2-light window on 1st floor and blocked doorway
to wall walk on left. Rear elevation shows similar detail to front; parapet
partly fallen.

Interior: Barrel-vaulted gate passage and flanking chambers. Tudor-arched
doorways, that to mural stair with old iron yett. Newel stair from 1st floor
north-west corner. 1st- and 2nd-floor garderobes in north-east and south-west
corners. Chamfered-arched fireplaces(one 2nd-floor fireplace with shoddered lintel)
and segmental rear arches to windows. Cross wall with doorway divides 1st floor
into hall and solar.

2nd floor and roof missing.

Historical notes: Henry VI sheltered here on his flight after the battle of
Hexham Levels in 1464, abandoning his sword, helmet and crown which were found
by the victorious Lord Montagu who captured the castle soon afterwards. Apart
from the tower-house/gatehouse (cf. Dunstanburgh, Bothal, Willimoteswick) the
castle appears never to have been completed.

Northumberland County History VI (1902), 75-78.

Listing NGR: NZ0493561779

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