Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Chillingham Castle is a medieval castle in the tiny village of Chillingham, Northumberland. It has been owned by the Earl Grey family and their descendants from the 13th century until the 1980s.

During World War II, the castle was used as an army barracks. During this time, much of the decorative wood is said to have been stripped out and burned by the soldiers billeted there. After the war, the castle began to fall into disrepair. Lead had been removed from the roof, resulting in extensive weather damage to large parts of the building. In the 1980s, the castle was purchased by Sir Humphry Wakefield, 2nd Baronet, whose wife Catherine is remotely descended from the Greys of Chillingham. He set about a painstaking restoration of the castle. Sections of the castle are open to the public, and holiday apartments are available for hire.

The approach to the castle is impressive ...

However, once inside the castle becomes distinctly quiet and somewhat eery! Its current owners market the castle as being the most haunted castle in Britain (and I can quite believe it!!!) and it has been investigated on television and radio...

The Great Hall has a typical stone flagged floor, tapestries, armour, weapons and the antlers of deer and wild cattle just as in former times It has a rare and surviving quality of those courtly days.
I just adored this chair..........

The castle had collections of various items including these mannequins - very strange????

The James 1st Room, named after the King’s Royal visit to Chillingham in 1603, is one of a suite of three rooms built specially for the future King. It is famous for its Elizabethan ceiling with the gilded ribbing and very finely moulded pendants.

And some of the items on display were fabulous....... look at these gauntlets - so bold but yet intricate.
A collection of rocking horses - I wonder who had the wonderful opportunity of riding the one at the right hand side of the picture. This one was my favourite.

We had lunch at Chillingham which was lovely too. This is the cafe which looks out on to the courtyard. It was very atmospheric and had a huge fire merrily blazing away whilst we ate!

The gardens were beautiful too....

This gentlemen almost looked real!

And finally..... the torture chamber. This was a little gruesome but we decided to have a look round and I took some photographs.

When I looked through my pictures I came across this one.............

Can you see the shadow on the curved ceiling.... I just cannot see what or who the shape relates to!!! Can you?? There is definitely a hand there - can you see it???

I can also see a young man's face just at the top right of the gibbet (cage)! This isn't as clear.

All in all, Chillingham castle was fantastic (and photographs were allowed!). It was totally unique and definitely had something for everyone. Needless to say, if you are ever at a loose end and in the North of England head to Chillingham!

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