Haggerston Castle

Haggerston Castle

Haggerston Castle is a hamlet located in the county of Northumberland. Today, it is best known as a caravan park owned by Haven & British Holidays. Historically, it was a baronetcy in the civil parish of Ancroft, then located in County Durham.


Haggerston was first mentioned in sources in 1311, when Edward II visited the castle, and again in 1345, when it was described as a 'strong tower' and was granted a licence to crenellate by Edward III in the same year. This licence is recorded in the Calender of patent rolls (1343-45), p. 479.

The inhabitants of the castle, the de Hagardestons, are believed to have been part of the invading force of William the Conqueror, who invaded as far north as Berwick-upon-Tweed. The land at Haggerston was, at that time, boggy and wet, the remaining lake serving as a reminder of this. There are few records of the early part of the history of Haggerston Castle, as later fires destroyed much of the castle, along with its documents. It is known that John de Hagardeston inhabited the castle in the late 12th and early 13th century, his death having been documented "circa" 1210. He married into the Manners family, of Cheswick. The name of de Hagardeston appears to have changed to the anglicized spelling of Haggerston with Thomas Haggerston, born circa 1458.

In 1642, Sir Thomas Haggerston was created the first baronet of Haggerston, in the Baronetage of England. The Haggerstons married into many great families, such as the Cheswick family, gaining large amounts of land, but Haggerston eventually became a minor estate, connected to the Maxwell and Constable families, and passed to the Maxwell Lord Herries of Terregles, through Winifred Maxwell, who married William Haggerston-Constable, second son of the third Baronet. Their grandson, William Constable-Maxwell, became the 10th Lord Herries of Terregles when the title was restored in 1858.

The castle has three times been damaged by fire. The date of the first fire is unknown, but the subsequent fires took place in 1618 and 1911. Local legend holds that the fires were brought about by a witch's curse, which is now said to have been fulfilled. The reason for the supposed curse is unknown.


Only the tower and the rotunda (both Grade II listed buildings) remain of the the house built on the castle site in 1893, the rest having been demolished in 1933 and auctioned off in order to try to recoup some of the family fortune. The main complex for the caravan park stretches between these, resembling a large tent. The tower is used as a storeroom, and the rotunda is the Owner's Exclusive lounge. The cellars have been converted into a bar and storerooms.

Seven semi-detached cottages, the "Roadside Cottages", still remain, and are privately owned, having been built for the employees of the castle in the late 18th century, along with a terrace of four cottages, the "Flower Cottages". There is also a modern-built house. The ruins of the chapel and the ice-house still remain, along with the dovecote on the opposite side the A1.


* Jackson, Michael. (1992) "Castles of Northumbria". Barmkin Books. ISBN 978-0951970805
* "The Haggerston Historical Handbook"
* [http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/Details/Default.aspx?id=237893&mode=quick "Images of England": Haggerston Tower and Rotunda]
* [http://www.northofthetyne.co.uk/Haggerston.html Images of Haggerston castle]
* [http://www.stirnet.com/HTML/genie/british/hh4aa/haggerston1.htm Haggerston Pedigree from Stirnet]
* [http://homepage.mac.com/philipdavis/English%20sites/2355.html "The Gatehouse Gazetteer": Haggerston Castle]

External links

* [http://www.ecastles.co.uk/haggerston.html Haggerston Castle]

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