The first reference to Dilston Castle is back in 1464 when it appears in a deed drawn up by Sir Robert Claxton. This fortified tower house was built in the mid fifteenth century by Roberts’s father Sir William Claxton in a time that the area was awash of Border battles.
Evidence suggests that a manor house or castle would have stood here before. Also, to the east was a medieval settlement known as Dyvelston.
In the 16th and 17th Century the fortified house was upgraded by the Radcliffe family into a more comfortable dwelling and you can still see the original gateway on the site. Later it would be incorporated with Dilston Hall.
Unfortunately the Hall was demolished in 1768. The castle has a lot of tales to tell as it would have been a target for armies both sides of the border due to the building and location. The location has a vast history and is set in romantic woodlands setting alongside The Chapel, The Lord’s Bridge and Devil’s Water.
The Chapel at Dilston was built in 1616 by funds allegedly raised during the Gun Powder Plot and it’s is even rumored that Guy Fawkes stayed here on his way to London. The building itself was designed specifically for Roman Catholic worship.
Today the building has been restored to its former glory complete with its untouched crypt that still houses the bodies of people from days gone by.
Historic Dilston sits in the grounds of The Mencap College near Corbridge and was opened to the public in 2003, after marvelous work by The Friends of Historic Dilston and The North Pennines Trust. These people have worked extremely hard to bring Dilston back to its former glory.
The Lord’s Bridge/Devils Water
There have been reports of the sounds of hoofs over the bridge in the dead of the night. Could this be the spirit of James Radcliffe also referred to as The Galloping Lord returning from battle? There have also been numerous reports of apparitions sighted on the bridge that simply disappear.
Reports in The castle have been mainly environmental. EMF changes, light anomalies and mists caught on camera. Are these caused by the former residents of the castle?
A very active location. Photographs of light anomalies, EMF bursts, EVP recordings, banging from The Crypt and reports of actual poltergeist activity in the building. Could this be members of The Radcliffe Family?
For further history on Dilston goto: