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TYNEMOUTH CASTLE

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The monument includes the remains of an enclosure castle built by the priors of Tynemouth around the headland to enclose the monastery and defend it from attack. Licence to crenellate was granted in 1296 and enclosure walls and towers were built around a circuit of 974 metres. The visible remains today are of 13th and 14th century date and include a gatehouse with a barbican and the curtain wall with two towers. Fragments of the first phase of the castle survive on the north side of the promontory where they have become incorporated into later lines of defence. During the early 14th century an additional tower, known as the Whitley Tower, was added to the defence at the north west corner of the castle. In the late 14th century a replacement gatehouse was built which survives well today as a three storied rectangular tower. After the dissloution in 1539, Tynemouth became part of Henry VIII's scheme of national defence and was modified to serve as an artillery castle. Some time after 1545 the medieval walls of the castle were reinforced and the main front of the catle was replaced by stone revetted earthworks in order to provide artillery platforms. Gun ports were inserted into the south wall. The fortifications were provided with cannon and held a garrison of 50 men. It has also been suggested that the remains of a Norman castle may survive in the large mound of earth known as The Mount situated at the south west corner of the promontory, which later became incorporated into the defences of the 16th century artillery castle. The remains are in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.