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Structure Details
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Structure Name: Harbottle Castle

Ruined castle atop a large earthen mound (90m in diameter at the base), representing the motte of an earlier motte and bailey fortification. The ruins include a long stretch of curtain wall with a tower fragment at one end, and sections of the keep.

Extant: Yes

Legal Status: Listed Building Grade I, Scheduled Ancient Monument

Location: Harbottle, NORTHUMBERLAND

Eastings: 393250m (view map)

Northings: 604810m (view map)

Position Accuracy: 10m

Positional Confidence: Absolute Certainty


Historical Background
The first castle at Harbottle was an earth and timber motte and bailey, which was rebuilt in stone in the 13th century. Between then and the 16th century Harbottle Castle came under threat a number of times, including capture by Robert the Bruce in 1318.

By the end of the 16th century the castle was falling into disrepair, and within 100 years the stone had been largely robbed out by local builders.


  • 1160   Construction of motte and bailey castle.
        Entities Involved:
              Umfraville, Odinel:
  • 1173 - 1174   Castle taken by Scots.
  • 13TH CENTURY AD   Castle rebuilt in stone.
  • 1318   Castle captured by Robert the Bruce.
        Entities Involved:
              Bruce, Robert: Waged war on England.
  • 1336   Castle restored.
  • 1351   Castle in ruins.
  • 1400   Castle once again defensible.
  • 1541 - 1551   Shell keep rebuilt.
  • 1541   Extensive rebuilding of castle.
  • 1563   Continued repairs.
  • 17TH CENTURY AD   Stone taken to build the new Harbottle Castle, a manor house to the east end of Harbottle village.
  • 1990s   Excavations by the Department of Archaeology, University of Newcastle.
        Entities Involved:
              Department of Archaeology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne: Led excavations.


  • Images of England
  • Keys To The Past
  • Northumberland SMR
  • Pevsner, N., Richmond, I., Grundy, J., McCombie, G., Ryder, P. and Welfare, H. (2001) The Buildings of England: Northumberland. London, Penguin Books, p.302

The information displayed in this page has been derived from authoritative sources, including any referenced above. Although substantial efforts were made to verify this information, the SINE project cannot guarantee its correctness or completeness.


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Last Modified 26 March 2004
2002 SINE Project, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
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