Remains of an rectangular shaped fortified Tower House set on the banks of the River Tipalt. The remains of the Tower can be explored freely and the site is on the line of Hadrian’s Wall and in proximity to the Roman Army museum.
NO OFFICIAL SITE
1. Sir Percival Thirlwall, one time owner of Thirlwall Castle, was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field (1485) whilst fighting for Richard III and the Yorkists against Henry Tudor. He was Richard’s standard-bearer and doubtless died in proximity to the King.
Walltown Car Park
Notes: The castle is free to access. Extensive (pay) car parking facilities are available at the Hadrian’s Wall Walltown Car Park around 500m away and the castle is signposted from there.
A fortified residence Thirlwall Castle successfully protected its owners against frequent Scottish raids throughout its 400 year occupation. Built from materials scavenged from Hadrian's Wall, the remains are now regularly visited by walkers proceeding along the National Trail.
HISTORY OF THIRLWALL CASTLE
Built on the line of Hadrian's Wall circa-1255, Thirlwall Castle was built by the family of the same name on the banks of the River Tipalt. Originally a simple tower the proximity of ready prepared stone quarried from Hadrian's Wall allowed the Thirlwall family to build a structure beyond their modest wealth and was doubtless something of a status symbol for a family aspiring to move up the social ladder. The Thirlwalls took pleasure from entertaining Edward I here in 1306 as he rode to north to commence a new invasion of Scotland (he died before it could commence). In 1330 the tower had additional fortifications added probably prompted by the increased hostility on the English side of the border as the Wars of Independence turned against the English. These periodic attacks meant the castle was always kept ready to act as a bolt-hole for the residents and a survey of 1542 reported it was in a ‘measurably good' state of repair.
The union of the crowns between England and Scotland in 1603 helped defuse border troubles and the small defences such as Thirlwall became redundant. Used during the Civil War as a supply depot for Scottish forces (in support of Parliament) this was to the final chapter for this castle. The Thirlwall family relocated to Hexham and in 1748 the castle and surrounding land was purchased by the Earl of Carlisle. He had no interest in the structure of the castle and accordingly it was allowed to decay. By the nineteenth century large portions of masonry from the castle had been robbed and incorporated into local cottages and stone walls.