Raby Castle is a large fortified mansion house that has gradually developed into an impressive stately home. John, 3rd Baron Nevill, obtained a licence to crenellate in 1378, although this probably meant adding fortifications to an existing building. The castle evolved to become an extensive residence of towers and ranges of apartments built around a small courtyard. The largest tower is Clifford's Tower, 24.7 metres (81ft) tall, but the most interesting is the Kitchen Tower which still retains its original medieval form.
The Nevill family were one of the most powerful and important in Northern England, but they lost all their lands after leading the failed 'Uprising of the North', in support of Mary Queen of Scots, in 1569. The castle was held by the Crown until 1626 when it was sold to Sir Henry Vane the Elder. In 1648 a Royalist force besieged the castle held by Sir George Vane, but the damage it sustained was quickly repaired and over the following two centuries the castle and park were transformed into the palatial property that it is today.
- One mile north of Staindrop on the A688
- Staindrop, Darlington, County Durham, DL2 3AH
- Privately owned. Open to the public. Admission fee
- For further information visit www.rabycastle.com
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