Dally Castle

Has been described as a Certain Tower House

There are masonry footings remains

NameDally Castle
Alternative NamesDala; Dale; Dallie; Delaley; Dalley
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishGreystead

Dally Castle and its associated buildings and earthworks are very well preserved and retain significant archaeological deposits. The fortified house is thought to be the earliest surviving hall house in Northumberland and its architectural features are of the highest quality. Its subsequent modification to a tower house enhances its importance and it will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of this type of high status medieval dwelling.

The monument includes the remains of a fortified house, later remodelled as a tower house, of medieval date, situated on the summit of a ridge within a meander of the Chirden Burn. The upstanding remains are Listed Grade I. The site of the fortified house has been isolated by the digging of a substantial ditch, 25m wide and a maximum of 4.5m deep, across the north western part of the ridge, and by a less substantial ditch across the south eastern side. Natural protection is afforded on the north east and south western sides by steep slopes. The fortified house, which is situated between the two ditches, is visible as a rectangular structure measuring 20.9m north west to south east by 11.8m north east to south west, with walls of regular sandstone blocks 1.8m thick. This building is thought to be early 13th century in date and its basic plan is an upper floor hall house above a columned basement. Each of the long side walls had three regularly spaced arrow loops, or narrow windows, and each of the end walls had one loop placed centrally. All of the windows were blocked soon after building and in the south west corner of the house two of the windows have been obscured by an internal cupboard and a fireplace. The most westerly window in the south wall was subsequently replaced by a larger window, still clearly visible

In the later 13th and 14th century the house was remodelled into a tower house and a number of features were added; these include a square tower at the north west corner, a tower at the north east corner, a pair of butresses on the north wall and a small tower at the south west corner. It is also thought that an entire storey was added. A pair of buttresses added to the south wall of the house are thought to be an even later addition. The original entrance to the house is thought to have lain in the eastern end of the south wall, although there is now only a gap in the masonry. The foundations of a rectangular building, orientated east to west and measuring 9m by 6.4m, are located 10m east of the house. The building is thought to be the remains of an associated chapel. Further to the east of the house, on the eastern side of the smaller ditch, there are further slight foundations of a small building 3m square. Dally Castle is believed to be the building erected by David Linsey in his manor of Chirdon, referred to in a document of 1237 as the 'house with remarkably thick walls in the form of a tower'. The manor was confiscated on two occasions in 1289 and 1296. On the second occasion it was granted to John de Swinburne, reverting to the Crown on his death in 1326 when it was described as 'the site of a manor burnt by the Scots'. The fortified house is not mentioned in the 1415 or the 1541 lists of Border strongholds but it is known that by 1604 it was held of the Crown and occupied by the Dodds family. The condition of the house deteriorated; by the 18th century it was roofless and in the early 19th century little stonework was visible. The building underwent limited excavation in 1888 when a series of columns forming part of the basement were removed. The work also uncovered a helmet and part of a sword. After substantial consolidation in the late 20th century, the walls are visible standing to a maximum height of 1.8m. Further columns and other architectural fragments were also uncovered and remain at the site. (Scheduling Report)

Ruined castle. C13 and C14. Squared stone. Rectangular, c.50 x 30 ft. with projecting towers at three corners. The walls stand from two feet to about five feet above ground and more below the surface. Finely-cut chamfered plinth. Several arrow slits and parts of arrow slits remain. They are finely-detailed with rounded jambs and steeply-sloping sills and lintels. (Listed Building Report)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceNY774843
Latitude55.1532592773438
Longitude-2.35489988327026
Eastings377490
Northings584380
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle 25052013 111111.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-10 25052013 112238.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-11 27052013 090520.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-12 25052013 112347.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-13 25052013 112416.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-14 25052013 112429.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-15 25052013 112503.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-16 25052013 112543.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-17 25052013 112658.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-2 25052013 111525.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-3 25052013 111553.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-4 25052013 111803.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-5 25052013 111834.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved

Dally Castle-6 25052013 111946.Jpg

View full Sized Image (Panoramic images open in a new window)
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-7 27052013 082305.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-8 27052013 082300.Jpg

View full Sized Image
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

Laitude 55° 9' 11.71" Longitude -2° 21' 17.69"

Dally Castle-9 25052013 112202.Jpg

View full Sized Image

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print

Books

  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 305-7
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 41
  • Emery, Anthony, 1996, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 1 Northern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 74-5
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 181
  • Dixon, P.W., 1993, 'Mota, Aula et Turris: the manor-houses of the Anglo-Scottish border ' in G.E. Meirion-Jones and Michael Jones (eds), Manorial Domestic Buildings in England and Northern France (Society of Antiquaries) p. 22-48 (reprinted in Liddiard, Robert (ed), 2016, Late Medieval Castles (Boydell Press) p. 127-156)
  • Jackson, M.J.,1992, Castles of Northumbria (Carlisle) p. 51-2 (plan)
  • Pevsner, N., 1992 (revised by Grundy, John et al), Buildings of England: Northumberland (London, Penguin) p. 292-3
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 42
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 331
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 127
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 90-1
  • Dodds, Madeleine Hope (ed), 1940, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 15 p. 273-80
  • Hugill, R.,1939, Borderland Castles and Peles (1970 Reprint by Frank Graham) p. 86
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 377 online copy
  • Tomlinson, W.W., 1897, Comprehensive Guide to Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 219-20
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, Border Holds of Northumberland (London and Newcastle: Andrew Reid) p. 55-6 (Also published as the whole of volume 14 (series 2) of Archaeologia Aeliana view online)

Antiquarian

Journals

  • Sherlock, David, 1997-98, 'Hylton Castle' Castle Studies Group Newsletter No. 11 p. 16-17 online copy
  • 1997-98, Archaeology in Northumberland Vol. 8 p. 16
  • 1995-96, Archaeology in Northumberland Vol. 6 p. 45-6
  • 1990-91, Archaeology in Northumberland Vol. 1 p. 18
  • 1905-6, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (ser3) Vol. 2 p. 153-5
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, 'Border Holds of Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 14 p. 55-6 online copy

Other

  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 1 p. 73-4
  • Heritage and Site Landscape Surveys, 1996. Dally Castle, Greystead, Northumberland. A memoir of an archaeological and architectural survey