Aydon Castle is one of the finest examples of a medieval manor house in England. Robert de Reymes, a wealthy Suffolk merchant, began construction of the house in 1296, at the end of an unusually long period of peace in the border regions. The building is naturally defended on one side by the steep valley of the Cor Burn, but was otherwise unfortified. Unfortunately for de Reymes, the building of his house coincided with a new period of conflict with Scotland which led to frequent Scottish raids throughout the area. In 1305, he obtained a licence to crenellate his property and set about improving the defences with the addition of battlements and a circuit of curtain walls. These didn't stop the Scots from sacking the property in 1315 and again in 1346.
Over the centuries the manor house had numerous owners, many of whom lived elsewhere and leased the property to tenants. As a result the manor was left largely unchanged. The only significant modifications were made during a mid 16th century renovation, and a mid 17th century conversion to a farm. The building remained in use as a farm until 1966, but has since been restored to its medieval appearance.
- 1 mile northeast of Corbridge, on minor road off B6321 or A68
- Aydon Castle, Corbridge, Northumberland, NE45 5PJ
- English Heritage. Open to the public. Admission fee
- For further information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk
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