History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 14th century pele tower
Current opening details are on the Chipchase Castle Nursery website at http://www.chipchaseplants.co.uk (the nursery is a popular garden centre created from one of two walled gardens beside the castle).
VisitingWhen we visited the castle itself was closed to the public but the gardens were open. There were no apparent signs on the surrounding roads, but once we found the main entrance drive to the castle all we had to do was follow signs for the nursery. There is only parking for a few cars, and there did not at first appear to be anyone about. However, as we tried to figure out what to do next a gardener appeared and welcomed us, with directions for the best route to explore the gardens.
We had to pass through the large nursery area, no hardship for our family, and then into a beautifully lush walled garden, with clipped hedges and a terrace of glasshouses at one end. Beyond the walled garden a trail led through woodland, with glimpses of a small lake, until we came to a gateway in a stone wall that took us onto a wide terraced garden to the west of the castle. Directly in front of us was the huge
Directly in front of us was the huge pele tower. This is where you really get a sense of the true age of Chipchase Castle, for the pele gives way almost immediately to the later Jacobean and Georgian additions. We were not allowed to walk past the pele tower; the front of the house was off-limits to visitors, but we could still get a very good view of the whole house from the garden path, which looped back around the lake top the walled garden.
The gardens at Chipchase are small but quite enjoyable, and you really get a sense of the site's age and history. The pele tower is particularly impressive, and you can easily make out the original 14th century features.
About Chipchase Castle
Address: Wark, Hexham, Northumberland, England, NE48 3NT
Attraction Type: Historic House
Location: 10 miles north west of Hexham via the A6079 to Chollerton.
Website: Chipchase Castle
Phone: 01434 230203
Historic Houses Association
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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