You are here: Home : Search : Search Results : Detailed Result
  |   Print  



The remains of the fortified house known as Tarset Castle. The building was built on a strategic position commanding the Tyne and Tarset fords and the junction of two old traffic routes. A licence to crenellate (fortify) the residence was granted to John Comyn in 1267. This is the earliest surviving licence to do so in Northumberland. In 1523 the house was occupied by Sir Ralph Fenwick who defended it with 80 men. However, in 1525 the fortified house was taken and burnt down. The building was never restored and its ruins were used as a quarry.

The fortified house is largely visible as the grassed over remains of a rectangular structure. Most of the masonry has been robbed and the only visible remains, which stand to a maximum height of 1.5 metres, are at the north east and south east corners of the structure. These stand upon the uncovered remains of a stone plinth. This masonry is thought to represent two of the four square corner turrets known to exist at Tarset Castle as indicated on a plan of the ruins made in 1773. This plan shows John Comyn's residence to be a long narrow building with a small rectangular turret at each corner. A ditch enclosed two sides of the site, with the other two sides bounded by a steep bank rising from the Tarset water on the north, and a less steep slope which had in part been artificially scarped, facing westwards.
There is no evidence of any wall or defence on the inner side of the ditch although there was possibly a timber palisade and there must also have been at some point a trestle bridge or gangway to provide access.

DETAIL + / -
+ / -
Please help us keep our information accurate let us know if you see any errors on this page.

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