Bowes Castle

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Between the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines is the village of Bowes.

An ordinary village for the most part, yet there is something here that you wouldn’t expect to see: in a small field, looming over the houses of the locals, are the ruins of an immense castle.

A looming ruin

Even what little remains of Bowes Castle is an undeniably impressive sight.

In its walls, you’ll be able to spot many arrow slits where archers would have been stationed, as well as large archways which were probably once doors to other parts of the castle.

As you approach, you might just feel tiny due to the sheer size of its colossal walls.

From dignified...

A Roman fort once stood here, watching over a strategic location known as the Stainmore Pass.

This spot must have still been important many centuries later because during the 12th century, Henry II ordered that the Roman fort be replaced by something much grander: a tall fortress that came to be known as Bowes Castle.

Building the castle turned out to be a clever decision on Henry’s part, as it wasn’t long before a Scottish invasion led by King William descended upon England, rampaging towards Bowes.

Henry strengthened the castle further, bracing it for an attack, and sure enough, his foresight saw him win the battle.

When you stand within the imposing shadow of this place, it won’t be hard for you to imagine why the Scots might have had such a difficult time capturing it.

...To dilapidated

Yet the castle would not stand strong forever. It was later given to John de Scargill, which caused outrage among the locals and led to an uprising.

Tenants stormed the castle while the lord was away: they stole everything of worth, gorged themselves on the lord’s wine, and then set fire to the building, burning parts of it to the ground.

Imagine the lord's surprise when he learned that this destruction was caused not by his enemies, but his own subjects!

The castle fell into a state of disrepair, and the killing blow came after the Civil War when it was dismantled to ensure it could never be used again.

As you explore this place, how will you feel knowing all the battle and bloodshed it's seen?

A war-weary castle

Bowes Castle is a truly memorable fortress, made even more memorable by its long and war-torn history.

We can guarantee that the sight of this amazing place will stick with you, so why not pack the car up and see it for yourself?

County Durham,
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