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Cartington is a village and civil parish in Northumberland, England. It is about 11 miles (18 km) south west of Alnwick, and about 2 miles (3 km) north west of Rothbury, and has a population of 97. At the 2011 Census the population remained less than 100. Details were included in Callaly parish.
Although there is reason to suppose that the history of Cartington can be traced on the strength of its place-name to the Early Middle Ages, Cartington is not named until the Pipe Roll dated 1233 as Kertindon, a holding of the King's Forester, Ralph Fitz-Main. This family remained significant in the township, but increasingly land within it was held by another family, called the de Beaumains, who in time changed their name to Cartington, and eventually took over the manor here. The Cartington family remained influential until the death of John de Cartington in 1494, after which it passed through marriage to Sir Edward Radcliffe of Derwentwater. In 1601 it transferred as the dowry of Mary Radcliffe on her marriage to Roger Widdrington.
In 1515 it was briefly visited by the Scottish queen, Margaret Tudor, where she rested for four days (having recently given birth to a daughter, also called Margaret, later Lady Lennox) on her way further south to safety. It was noted at the time that she was unable to cope with travelling in a horse-drawn litter, so she was instead carried by servants of Lord Dacre.
The Widdringtons espoused the Royalist cause in the English Civil Wars, with Roger Widdrington supporting the King's Army during the Bishops' Wars of 1639, and his son, Sir Edward Widdrington, raised a brigade of two thousand foot and two hundred horse which served under the Marquis of Newcastle. After the defeat at Marston Moor he went into exile, not returning until the Restoration. Cartington remained in his wife's hands, and the family remained loyal to the King's cause, for in 1648 a Major Sanderson, serving under Parliament, made a raid across Northumberland to take by surprise a scattered remnant of a Royalist force, with the final action being at Cartington Castle, where Sir Richard Tempest was surprised and laid siege to for two hours before being captured. Subsequently the family were sequestered for their support of the King; being fined £400 for giving intelligence to the King's party and with Cartington Castle being slighted to prevent its further use.
By the early 18th century it became the property of the Talbots, but a John Talbot lost the estate for his role in the Jacobite Rising of 1715, passing first to Giles Alcock, a merchant from Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1883 it became part of the estate of Sir William George Armstrong of nearby Cragside.
Cartington Castle is a ruinous, partly restored medieval English castle. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building. Its first recorded owner was Ralph Fitzmain who held it in 1154. In the late 14th century a pele tower was built. In November 1515 Margaret, Queen of Scots, with her baby daughter Margaret stayed here on her journey south from Harbottle Castle. Nearly ten years later, Lord Dacre stationed his troops here on a march north to join the Earl of Surrey. The castle continued to be occupied until finally abandoned in the 1860s. In 1887 Lord Armstrong partially restored the castle in order to prevent its complete disintegration.
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