Featherstone Castle

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Coordinates: 54°56′35″N 2°30′36″W / 54.943°N 2.510°W / 54.943; -2.510

Featherstone Castle
Featherstone Castle.jpg
Featherstone Castle, 2005
Featherstone Castle is located in Northumberland
Featherstone Castle
Featherstone Castle
 Featherstone Castle shown within Northumberland
OS grid reference NY674610
List of places
UK
England
Northumberland

Featherstone Castle, a Grade I listed building, is a large Gothic style country mansion situated on the bank of the River South Tyne about 3 miles (5 km) southwest of the town of Haltwhistle in Northumberland, England.

Medieval origins[edit]

In the 11th century the manor house on this site belonged to the Featherstonehaugh family. It has played an important role in the battles between the English and the Scots. Originally a 13th-century hall house, a square three-storey pele tower was added in 1330 by Thomas de Featherstonehaugh. A survey from the year 1541 reported the property to be a tower in good repair, occupied by Thomas Featherstonehaugh.

The earliest recorded history of this area derives from the Roman occupation period; in 122 AD, the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall, the course of which lies about 5 kilometres to the north of Featherstone Castle.

Post medieval[edit]

In the 17th century the property was acquired by Sir William Howard (father of the 1st Earl of Carlisle) and was remodelled and substantially enlarged.

The house was repurchased from the Earl of Carlisle in 1711 by Matthew Featherstonehaugh (1662–1762). A survey of 1715 disclosed 'an ancient and well-built structure'. The family remained in occupation until Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh sold the property to James Wallace about 1789. His son Thomas Wallace carried out further alterations between 1812 and 1830. Lord Wallace bequeathed the estate to his nephew Colonel James Hope (1807–1854), (son of the Earl of Hopetoun), who changed his name to Hope-Wallace.

The various alterations to the structure have resulted in a large castellated and complex country house, rectangular in form with a central courtyard and towers at each angle.

Modern usage[edit]

The property was sold in 1950 and became a boys' preparatory school, known as Hillbrow School, named after the house where it had originally been established near Rugby School in the Midlands. Hillbrow by then was settled at Overslade House, which had been damaged by a landmine in 1940. When in 1961 the school moved to their premises at Ridley Hall, Northumberland, Featherstone Castle was converted to a residential conference and activity centre for young people and students.

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