Barnard Castle | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Barnard Castle

Barnard Castle, England, United Kingdom

About Barnard Castle

The charming ruins of Barnard Castle in County Durham sit above the small market town of the same name.

The first stone fortifications were built on the site by the Norman lord Guy de Baliol, who was granted the estate by William Rufus in 1095AD. However, it was under his nephew Barnard de Baliol that the site and town were truly expanded and it was for Barnard that the castle was named.

In 1216 another of their successors, Hugh de Baliol, successfully defended Barnard Castle from enemies of King John, who besieged the fortress.

During the 14th century Barnard Castle passed into the holdings of the Earls of Warwick and subsequently the Nevilles before coming into the possession of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who would later be crowned Richard III.

In 1569 the castle was besieged again – and this time captured – during the uprising against Elizabeth I by the Northern Lords.

By 1626 Barnard Castle has fallen into neglect and the estate was sold to Sir Henry Vane. Sir Henry had also acquired the nearby Raby Castle and chose to strip Barnard Castle of materials to refurbish Raby.

Today Barnard Castle is run by English Heritage and forms a picturesque ruin for visitors to explore. People can stroll around the ruins and still seeing remains including the castle towers and the 14th century Great Hall.