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Raby Castle

Durham

Military, Architecture

There are a number of splendid castles in County Durham. Lumley and Barnard Castle all spring to mind but Raby is a vision of chivalry with its irregular ring of ten high mediaeval towers.

From the 1300s it was the home of the Neville family, the Earls of Westmoreland who, with the Percys in Northumberland, were effectively rulers of the North. It has passed through many hands since but along with its glorious profile it has retained a magnificent 14th century kitchen.

Among many contributions from later centuries, probably the most remarkable and ingenious is the Grand Entrance Hall, altered by John Carr in 1782 in order to allow carriages to drive straight into the house and let the passengers alight in warmth and comfort. At the time it was thought of as a magical innovation.

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