From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A large stone built ruined building. The nearer part is two stories with square windows; behind is a tall square keep with turrets and battlements. In the foreground is grass with a low stone wall; in the background a blue sky with a few white clouds.
Belsay Castle
Belsay is located in Northumberland
Location within Northumberland
Population436 (2001)[1]
OS grid referenceNZ101786
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtNE20
Dialling code01661
AmbulanceNorth East
UK Parliament
List of places
55°06′04″N 1°50′28″W / 55.101°N 1.841°W / 55.101; -1.841Coordinates: 55°06′04″N 1°50′28″W / 55.101°N 1.841°W / 55.101; -1.841

Belsay is a village and civil parish in Northumberland, England. The village is about 5 miles from Ponteland on the A696, which links the village with Newcastle upon Tyne and Jedburgh. The population of the civil parish was 436 at the 2001 census, increasing to 518 at the 2011 Census.[2]

Scottish nobleman and doctor John de Strivelyn was granted the manor around 1340 by Edward III. On his death, the estate passed to his daughter, who was married to Sir John Middleton, and has remained with the Middleton family since.

Belsay parish includes the former parishes of Bitchfield, Black Heddon, Bolam, Bolam Vicarage, Bradford, Gallowhill, Harnham, Newham, Shortflatt, Trewick, and Wallridge.[3]

Belsay is home to Belsay Castle, a fine medieval castle, and to Belsay Hall.


Belsay Castle is a 14th-century medieval castle situated at Belsay. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building.[4]

The main structure, a three-storey rectangular pele tower with rounded turrets and battlements, was constructed about 1370, and was the home of the Middleton family. In 1614 Thomas Middleton built a new manor house attached to the tower.[4] A west wing was added in 1711 but was later largely demolished in 1872 by Sir Arthur Middleton when the remainder of the house was considerably altered.[5]

The castle was abandoned as a residence by the family in the early 19th century when Sir Charles Monck built Belsay Hall close by.[6] It is administered by English Heritage and is open the public.[7]

Belsay Hall

Belsay Hall is a 19th-century country mansion and a Grade I listed building.[6] The house was built between 1810 and 1817 for Sir Charles Monck (then of Belsay Castle close by). Sir Charles himself was the designer of the building. It is a notable and early classical building. The house measures 100 feet (30 m) square with a lower kitchen wing attached to the north side. It is in two storeys.[6] The hall was the residence of the Middleton family until 1962.[citation needed]

15th-century Bitchfield Tower and Shortflatt Tower are in the parish.

Aruna Ratanagiri Buddhist Monastery of Thai Forest Tradition lies on a hilltop 3 miles to the north-west of Belsay, in the hamlet of Harnham.


  1. ^ "Office for National Statistics: Neighbourhood Statistics". Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 28 January 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Historic England. "Belsay Castle (1042837)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 December 2007.
  5. ^ "Belsay Castle". SINE Project, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Archived from the original on 2 November 2005. Retrieved 21 December 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b c Historic England. "Belsay Hall (1304489)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 December 2007.
  7. ^ "Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens". English Heritage. Retrieved 21 December 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]