Elsdon Castle shown within Northumberland
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Elsdon Castle is a castle in the village of Elsdon about 10 miles (16 km) to the southwest of Rothbury, in Northumberland, England, and also known as Mote Hills. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
It is the best preserved medieval motte and bailey castle site in Northumberland. It was built by Robert de Umfraville, not long after the Norman Conquest and stands on a natural spur of a hill. Impressive earthworks remain, which are open to the public without charge. The site consists of a tall mound or motte to the south, with an embanked kidney-shaped bailey to the north. A presumed wooden bridge between the two no longer exists. A notice-board to the east shows an illustrated reconstruction of the castle.
Elsdon Castle is thought to have been abandoned after it was superseded by the nearby Harbottle Castle.
Legend has gathered around the castle. According to one tale a Danish giant lived on the hill and terrorised the neighbourhood. It is tempting to rationalise this as a memory of Siward the Dane, earl of Northumberland in the reign of Edward the Confessor.
- Fry, Plantagenet Somerset, The David & Charles Book of Castles, David & Charles, 1980. ISBN 0-7153-7976-3
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