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About Raby Castle
Arriving close to Staindrop from almost any direction the view of Raby Castle, built by the powerful Nevill family in the 14th-century and said to have a hall in which 700 knights could meet, is awesome in its stark grandeur. The castle walls hold secrets uncovered for over a thousand years, leading back to the time when in the 11th-century King Cnut had the first castle here.
The Nevill family had but one aim - the Crown, and to help them in their quest they built for themselves the magnificent fortress we see today. Its walls were built to be unassailable, its towers and turrets, large hall and stone minstrels' gallery, all were significant of their might, wealth and ruthless ambition.
There is no place in the north of England like Raby, even its kitchen is said to be the grandest in the country. It is of majestic proportions, it has gleaming Victorian copperware and in spite of being used until quite recently, it is seemingly little altered since in was built in the 14th-century. The great Barons Hall, is where the Nevill family mustered hundreds of knights to aid Mary Queen of Scots in her bid for the English throne during 1569. A bid which was to fail and cause the demise of the Nevill's.
In 1626 the castle passed into the hands of the Vane family, Earls of Darlington and Dukes of Cleeveland. They added the magnificent Entrance Hall and dramatic Octagon Drawing Room. Lord Barnards family have lovingly cared for and preserved the castle since that time and although many original medieval features remain, most of what we now see dates from alterations in 1765 and the mid-19th century. The house contains English, Dutch and Flemish paintings, elegant furniture and a magnificent collection of porcelain. In the coach house visitors can see the family carriages and other vehicles.
Gentle deer nuzzle the grass of the surrounding 200 acre parkland where visitors can stroll in walled gardens and enjoy lovely views of the local countryside.
This is an evocative place to visit, there is much history attached to the two families that have owned Raby. There is also talk of the castle being
haunted. Charles Nevill is said to stalk the Barons Hall, Henry Vane, supposedly without his head, haunts the library and the first Lady Barnard has made various appearances in all parts of the castle.
Raby Castle hosts regular events and is open to the public.
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Hotels near Raby Castle
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Headlam Hall Hotel
Headlam, County Durham, England (4.0 miles, 6.4 km, direction SE)
A secluded rural retreat, this Jacobean country house hotel with luxury spa and golf course is situated 10 minutes' drive from the A1. The AA 4-star Headlam Hall Hotel is the 'North East England Smal...
More info and book online.. Price from £85.00
Manor House Hotel
West Auckland, County Durham, England (4.5 miles, 7.2 km, direction NE)
A charming English manor house close to the A1 road, with a gym, swimming pool, sauna and spa. Wi-Fi is free and food is served all day....
More info and book online.. Price from £44.00
The Jersey Farm Country Hotel
Barnard Castle, County Durham, England (4.7 miles, 7.5 km, direction SW)
Situated on the outskirts of picturesque Barnard Castle, this former working farm, with animals still in the fields, has been turned into a contemporary, unique and quirky hotel....
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The Redwell Inn
Barnard Castle, County Durham, England (5.2 miles, 8.4 km, direction SW)
Situated in the historic market town of Barnard Castle, The Redwell Inn offers free Wi-Fi, free on-site parking and en suite rooms. The town centre can be reached within a 10-minute walk and is lined ...
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Premier Inn Bishop Auckland
Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England (5.8 miles, 9.3 km, direction NE)
Located within easy reach of the A1 and only 15 minutes from rail links, this Premier Inn is just southwest of Durham city centre with its castle and cathedral....
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Did you know? On Christmas Eve in 1801 Richard Trevithick demonstrated his "Puffing Devil" , a high pressure steam engine which was for the first time mounted on wheels and self propelled. This was the first ever successful passenger carrying road vehicle ie the first car. Sadly a few days later on another trial it toppled over on the then uneven roads,after being righted and moved to the stable of the nearest tavern it blew up and destroyed itself and the stable-- no one had extinguished the boiler!!!
Added by: Vince Hawthorn
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