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Brancepeth Castle

A medieval fortress first constructed in the mid-twelfth century and with a dynamic history, constantly changing hands and use.

Brancepeth, Co Durham, DH7 8DF

Brancepeth Castle
Free for members
Facilities
  • Cafe / restaurant
  • Easily accessible without car
  • Free parking
  • Shop
Accessibility

Brancepeth Castle is a historic building retaining many of its original features. As a result there is unfortunately no direct wheelchair access. Most of the tour is on the ground floor, which is all on one level and a wheelchair can be used, however there is a short staircase of 7 steps to gain entry. A temporary ramp can be erected, but advance notice is required.

Please apply via the castle website.

Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

Brancepeth Castle was the stronghold of the Neville family in medieval times. The Battle of Neville’s Cross, between England and Scotland, was planned in the castle’s Baron’s Hall.

The Nevilles forfeited their estates after the failed Rising of the North, and the Castle went through a number of hands before being bought by the wealthy Russell family in the late 18th-century.

The current building is a combination of the Neville’s medieval towers with early 19th-century additions by the Russells, who employed Edinburgh architect John Paterson to sensitively create a grand stately home within the walls and extensions. The Russells lived in the castle for around a hundred years, after which the mid-20th-century saw the castle used by the army and as a research station.

The castle is now a private home again, and the principal rooms are open to the public every week throughout the year. Tours in January to March, and October to December must be booked in advance through the castle website. A range of events are held throughout the year, and the castle is available for weddings and holiday accommodation.

Visits to the castle are by guided tour only. Tours are led by a member of the family, giving you a special insight into the building beyond just the history. The tour will include the medieval Barons’ Hall, where the Nevilles and Percys plotted the Rising of the North, and the cellars beneath. You will also see how architect John Paterson (and later Anthony Salvin) created a lavish Regency home inside the old medieval walls, as well as adding new extensions for the fabulously wealth Russell family.

Opening Times

2022

Brancepeth Castle is open for guided tours on selected days every week throughout the year. Tours in January to March, and October to December must be booked in advance through the castle website; tours from April to September do not require advance booking. For a full list of dates and times, please visit the castle website.

Admission is of course free for Historic Houses members.

Please note: The information on the Historic Houses website is advisory, but please always check the website of the house or garden you intend to visit before travelling.

See their website to double check their opening times

Group Visits

Groups of 10 or more should book a visit via the castle website.

Educational Visits

Brancepeth Castle welcomes visits from primary schools. The Castle offers a guided visit to align with periods studied in the school curriculum. Each visit is individually tailored to the needs of the group, in discussion with school staff.

Please book via the castle website.

Accessibility

Brancepeth Castle is a historic building retaining many of its original features. As a result there is unfortunately no direct wheelchair access. Most of the tour is on the ground floor, which is all on one level and a wheelchair can be used, however there is a short staircase of 7 steps to gain entry. A temporary ramp can be erected, but advance notice is required.

Please apply via the castle website.

Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

Brancepeth Castle has been a fortified site since Saxon times. The exterior is largely medieval, but the interior was remodelled in Regency times. From stately home it became an army HQ and a research station. It is now a family home again.

Why our members love visiting Brancepeth Castle

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