Originally a 13th century manor house until Sir John Neville was granted a licence,
by the Bishop of Durham, to crenelate his property in 1378. The architect commissioned to do the work was John Lewyn, who was well respected in the north of England.
Ralph Neville, on the 29th September 1397, was created Earl of Westmorland for his loyalty to King Richard II but two years later, during the War of the Roses, Ralph sided with the Lancastrian, Henry Bollinbroke. Ralph convinced King Richard to abdicate and Bollinbroke became, King Henry IV.
For his efforts, Ralph was made Earl Marshal of England and Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1403. It is thought, he fought at the Battle of Agincourt. He was married twice, his second wife was Joan Beaufort, John of Gaunt’s daughter. Ralph fathered 22 children.
His youngest Cicely, known as the Rose of Raby, married Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York and was the mother of King Edward IV and Richard III.
By 1564 the family estates had passed to Charles Neville but the family were Catholic and Charles, being one of the leaders of the failed Northern Rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I, had to flee the country, his estates being forfeited to the crown. Over 800 rebels were executed.
Forty years after the rebel uprising, Henry Vane, 1st Earl of Darlington bought the property.
Between 1843 and 1848, the architect, William Burn carried out many improvements
and alterations to the fabric of the castle.
The property is the home and family seat of John Vane, 11th Baron Barnard.
The Castle is open to the public seasonally.
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