Beaufront Castle

Has been described as a Certain Pele Tower

There are no visible remains

NameBeaufront Castle
Alternative NamesTurris de Bewfronte; bello fronte; Befront; Befron
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishSandhoe

Country House, 1836-1841 by John Dobson for William Cuthbert, incorporating part of late C17 mansion of the Errington family, on medieval site (Listed Building Report)

A list dated 1415 refers to a tower at Beaufront (Bates 1891).

Beaufront Castle stands on the site of the tower of Beaufront, mentioned in 1415, and styled a manor in 1547. In 1587 the estate was sold to the Erringtons who made it their chief residence. The present house, in the domestic castellated style, was built in 1841, but the kitchens and rooms above are 17th C. and the clock tower bell is inscribed '1694' (Hodgson 1897).

A large private residence surrounded by extensive ornamental grounds, the site commands extensive views to the S.E. & W. along the R. Tyne Valley. The ground and first floor of the N.E. wing of domestic offices are the sole visible remains of the 17th C. building, all the windows within this portion are modern insertions. There is no structural evidence for the pre 1415 tower (F1 FDC 23.5.56).

It is assumed that the tower house was built by John de Errington circa 1380. The tower was incorporated into a new mansion in 1586, but apparently disappeared when the present building was completed in 1841 (Dodds 1999). (PastScape)

Beaufront Castle was first recorded as a tower in 1415. In 1587 it was sold to the Errington family who made it their main house. The present house was built in 1841, though it includes earlier remains. (Keys to the Past)

Gatehouse Comments

John Errington was married to Elizabeth de Vaux who was the heiress of Beaufront (although the Vaux were tenants of Hexham Priory) but the Errington family did not obtain the estate in their own right until 1587. It is unclear to Gatehouse on what evidence Dodds (1999) suggests a construction date of 1380 although this is not improbable. The form of the turris recorded in 1415 is not known but the gentry status of the family and their tenant status for this property probably suggest a solar tower attached to an unfortified hall rather than a grand tower house or castle. The current castle name is modern and, presuambly, dates to the construction of the C19 castellated house.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY963659
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 450-1
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 22
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 6, 46, 53
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 345
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 55
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 60
  • Hodgson, John Crawford (ed), 1897, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 4 p. 198-205 online copy
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, Border Holds of Northumberland (London and Newcastle: Andrew Reid) p. 18 (Also published as the whole of volume 14 (series 2) of Archaeologia Aeliana view online)
  • Hodgson, J., 1820, History of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Part 3 Vol. 1 p. 29 online copy


  • Jabkson-Stops, G., 1976 Feb 12, Country Life p. 342-5
  • Jabkson-Stops, G., 1976 Feb 5, Country Life p. 286-9
  • Hadcock, R.N., 1939, 'A map of mediaeval Northumberland and Durham' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser4) Vol. 16 p. 148-218 esp 171
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, 'Border Holds of Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 14 p. 18 online copy

Primary Sources

  • 1415, Nomina Castrorum et Fortaliciorum infra Comitatum Northumbrie online transcription
  • Hinds, Allen B. (ed), 1896, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 3 p. 83 online copy