Prudhoe Castle dates from the 12th century, originally a stronghold for two leading northern families, the Umfravilles and later the Percy family, Dukes of Northumberland. It has a turbulent history and is famous as the only castle in the north never to have been captured by the Scots, having survived two sieges during the 1170s.
The chapel above the gateway contains England’s earliest example of an oriel window, built around 1300.
This fine Georgian manor house was built within the walls of the castle by the Duke of Northumberland in 1816, during the Napoleonic Wars. Major repairs of the ancient castle, which was in a ruinous state, were also carried out at this time. The manor house now contains exhibits on the 900 year old history of the castle.
Prudhoe has many of the features we associate with a traditional medieval English castle such as a moat, fortified gatehouse, a bridge, surrounding curtain wall, cross-shaped window slits, crenellated walls etc
This outer courtyard, or outer bailey, was the site of the kitchen, brewhouse, stores, workshops, latrines and accommodation block.
Prudhoe Castle from the south by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck, 1728.
Painting (print) on display at the castle. Possibly by, or in style of, Thomas Miles Richardson (1784-1848).
The castle is managed by English Heritage and is open to the public. You can find details of opening times and ticket prices on their website. The castle is closed during the winter months (4 November – 31 March).
Location of Prudhoe Castle
If you get in a taxi and ask for the castle and pronounce it as ‘prood-ho’ the driver will know you’re not from the area. The locals pronounce it as ‘prudda’.
The location is shown on this map.