HISTORY
The History of Scargill Castle

While the place name ‘Scargill’ is Viking and suggests there was at least a small farm here from perhaps the 10th century, Scargill’s known history starts in the 12th century when it was constructed by Warren de Scargill while he was overseeing building work for the King at the nearby Bowes Castle. Scargill was rebuilt c.1550 as a Tudor dowager house for Mary Scargill the last of the direct family line. This consisted of a three storey gatehouse with extra mural stair which gave access to the buildings around a central courtyard. The gatehouse still survives and the courtyard and the ruins of the other buildings now form the courtyard garden.

 
Time Team VisitTime Team DigTime Team Dig Begins
Time Team VisitTime Team DigTime Team Dig Begins

Scargill fell into decline to become a farm labourer’s cottage by the 19th century and then became a target for the practicing Home Guard in the Second World War, thus rapidly increasing its decline. Although the castle was designated as a scheduled monument because it was considered to be nationally important, the roof had collapsed and the chimney smashed through the floors as a result of the target practice and the lack of subsequent maintenance. 

In 1998 English Heritage declared it to be a ‘Building at Risk’. Its new lease of life started in 1999 when it was purchased as a wedding present and in 2000 restoration works commenced. As part of the restoration the site was partially excavated by Channel 4 television’s The Time Team in 2009. Click here to read the excavation report for the Time Team.
The Bedroom in 1999 & 2012
The Bedroom in 1999 & 2012
Scargill Castle in 1885 & 2012
Scargill Castle in 1885 & 2012

Tony Robinson and his team set about uncovering the medieval origins of the castle through geophysical survey, excavation and research into ancient archives. It was during those frantic three days of filming that the medieval barmkin which surrounded the site was found, the medieval walls unpicked from the later Tudor ones and the later evocative remains of a last game in front of the fire uncovered  - a pile of long cold ashes, two gaming dice, and a farthing of James I. 

You could almost feel the heat of the fire and hear the sounds of dice being thrown on a table, long since removed. The programme brought Scargill to the attention of Mr Bill Gelder from near Doncaster, who generously donated the indenture for the castle dating to 1601, complete with red wax seal which now hangs in the entrance hall.

Scargill Castle’s restoration was completed in 2012 when it was transformed into a  romantic retreat for two using traditional building skills and powered using the renewable energy sources of sun and air. Now it can be part of your history too when you celebrate memorable events and holidays in this beautiful historic building.
The Dining Room in 1999 & 2012
The Dining Room in 1999 & 2012
The Kitchen in 1979 & 2012
The Kitchen in 1979 & 2012

Scargill Castle, c/o Marian Cottage, Lartington, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 9BP.
Tel: 01833 650573 Mobile: 07773 195686 Email: info@aenvironment.co.uk ©2012 Scargill Castle all rights reserved
Scargill Castle - County Durham, England
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