The magnificent cross-shaped keep of Warkworth, crowning a hilltop rising steeply above the River Coquet, dominates one of the largest, strongest and most impressive fortresses in Northumberland.
The castle's most famous owners were the Percy family, whose lion badge can be seen carved on many parts of their stronghold. Wielding almost kingly power in the north, their influence reached its apogee under the first Earl of Northumberland and his son 'Harry Hotspur', hero of many Border ballads as the bane of Scots raiders and a dominant character in Shakespeare's 'Henry IV'.
Having helped to depose Richard II, these turbulent 'kingmakers' both fell victim to Henry IV: the next three Percy Earls likewise died violent deaths. Still roofed and almost complete, the uniquely-planned keep dates mainly from the end of the 14th century.
It presides over the extensive remains of a great hall, chapel, fine gatehouse and a virtually intact circuit of towered walls.
Half a mile from the castle, tucked away by the Coquet and accessibly only by boat, stands a much more peaceful building: the late medieval cave Hermitage and chapel of a solitary holy man.
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|Warkworth Castle, Warkworth(Group Attraction)|
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|Type||Entry for||Guide price|
(Child (5-15 years))
(Family (2 adults, 3 children))
(English Heritage Member)
Car parking available
Credit / debit cards accepted
Gift shop on site
Trip back in time
Gary W, Seaham
Warkworth Castle is a spectacular ruin set on an imposing hill looking down on the village of Warkworth in Northumberland. It is run by English Heritage and entry is£6.20 for an adult it also has on site parking £3.20. A fabulous ruin steeped in history and lovely walks and coffee shops pubs and restaurants all around in Warkworth. Well worth a visit.
HISTORIC WARKWORTH CASTLE - HOME OF THE PERCY FAMILY
Carol B, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Friday 25th August 17, my husband and I decided to go to Warkworth to visit Warkworth Castle and Hermitage. The medieval castle of Warkworth was the 14th century birthplace of Hotspur (Sir Henry Percy), who was slain at the Battle of Shrewsbury, in 1403, when the Percy’s were defeated by Henry IV. For more than four centuries it was one of the most important castles in the North of England. Towering above the Croquet River and wooded cliffs, it presents a dominating picture. The castle was mentioned by Shakespeare in Henry IV. The Great Tower, which stands on top of the motte, was commissioned by Henry Percy after he was made 1st Earl of Northumberland in 1377. It is in the shape of a Greek cross, with four polygonal wings radiating from a central block, above which rises a viewing tower. On all three storeys the rooms are arranged around a central open light well. The varying size and ornament of the external windows indicate the importance of the rooms they light. Around the entrance hall on the ground floor is a warren of vaulted service and storage chambers. These were connected directly by narrow stairs to the first floor rooms, which include the buttery, main kitchen, great hall, great chamber and chapel. The corbels in the walls above show that the chapel had an upper floor where the Earl could perform his devotions in private. My husband and I wandered round this impressive tower and took loads of photographs. Next we looked at The Lion Tower and Hall Range. The Lion Tower was built as the main porch to the new bailey residence created by the 4th Earl of Northumberland in about 1480. Its impressive display of heraldic sculpture, including the great lion of the Percy’s, which celebrated their dynastic prowess. My husband and I mooched around this wonderful castle for a couple of hours and then we decided to walk the one and a half mile river walk to visit The Hermitage. If you like castles and have a love of history - then this is the place to visit. Do ask for a Free audio guide, as they real bring the history alive as you walk round these impressive ruins.
Laura M, Dunfermline, United Kingdom
what a fantastic castle! We loved our visit here, probably one of the best castles we've visited. Although its a ruin, much of the structure is still standing which means you can explore. Our 3 year old loved finding little hidden rooms, corridors and staircases leading to other parts of the castle. You need to pay for parking, but the staff refund you when you pay the entrance fee.
Andr_Petr, Bucharest, Romania
The well preserved castle offers a trip back in time. Couple of rooms were furnished accordingly and bring the castle alive. Great for a weekend outing.
Not the most impressive Castle in the World
We were staying overnight in this village. Couldn't miss up the chance to visit this Castle. The staff were exceptionally amiable and helpful. Interesting history, worth a visit.