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The Castle

Location

Northumbria Map

OS Ref: NU 247 057

Last Visited: 2004

Most castles seen to have grown somewhat haphazardly over a period of centuries whilst following a basic common ground-plan, and this would seem to be the case at Warkworth, at least as far as the buildings in the Inner Bailey are concerned.

But, when it comes to the keep, it's a very different matter. Warkworth keep is clearly the work of a medieval architect (or Master Mason as they were called) of some genius. The layout of the rooms is carefully thought out, with the Kitchen and Buttery leading off the Great Hall each with their own set of stairs leading down to the store rooms on the floor below.

Perhaps most striking, however, is the central Light Well. Not only did this bring light down into the rooms in the centre of the keep, it was also used to collect water from the roof, which was then lead out through the garderobes and other washing facilities keeping the whole place sweet smelling.

All in all it feels much more like a 17th or 18th century building than one that dates from the late fourteenth.

Check the English Heritage website for opening times etc.