It is an English Heritage Site that consists of a Peel Castle, a Hall and a Gardens. And it is all in spectacular shape. (I have more about the Hall and Gardens Here)
The Castle is a traditional castle like one would expect. The Hall is an unexpected surprise as a Greek Rivival structure.
The first part of it was built in the 14th Century and a mansion wing was added in 1603. Another wing was added in the 18th century.
I also have more pictures of Belsay Castle here.
Special thanks to my friend Paul H. for visiting this castle, taking the pictures and writing the article.
Belsay Castle consists of a 14th century peel tower and is considered to be one of the best examples of such a tower.
This type of fortification was established by rich families to defend themselves during the violent times on the Anglo-Scottish border in the Middle Ages.
This example also shows that it was attached to a Manor house, in which the occupants could retreat within its protective walls to isolate themselves should an attack take place.
The distance between the old Castle Manor to a much newer Hall nearby, is about ½ a mile away and a path leading through a small quarry which has now been incorporated into a garden.
The quarry supplied the stones for the building of the castle.
It was owned by the Middleton family for more than 7 centuries and was first recorded in 1270. The estate in which the Hall Castle and gardens stands is still in their possession.
As I mentioned earlier it was attached to a manor house and was extended into a large Country house after the uniting of the two kingdoms under King James 1 in 1603 which brought peace.
The Middleton family lived in the castle until 1817 when a new Mansion was finished and designed by Sir Charles Monck who had been obliged to change his name from Middleton to Monck due to family circumstances. It is said that the architecture of the Hall was inspired by the Ancient Greeks when the then owner Sir Charles Monck had been on his honeymoon.
The Hall is more or less used as a gallery for works of art and the castle and manor house a shell.
There are no pieces of the original furniture in evidence as they had been sold off to pay death duties (Tour guide information.) Nevertheless, it was an excellent venue.
For the aficionado of castles, the Machicolations and turrets and walkway for an amazing view are certainly worth it.?
More Pictures of Belsay Castle Right here
Battle Castles: 500 Years of Knights and Siege Warfare
Join TV's Dan Snow as the fully illustrated 'Battle Castles' brings to thrilling life a cavalcade of medieval fortifications and the clashes that turned empires to dust and mortals into legends.
Castles and their ruins still dominate the landscape and are a constant reminder to us of a time when violence, or the threat of it, was the norm.
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Each castle's story is dramatically recounted: the building techniques, the weapons used and daily life within the walls. Spanning the globe, and using the latest CGI reconstructions, Dan Snow gets to the very heart of the bloodshed and battles of the greatest fortresses of the Middle Ages.