This 12th century stronghold, just twenty minutes from the seaside and the home of Sir Humphry Wakefield and his family, became 'base-camp' for the 1298 conquering attack on William Wallace by “Hammer of the Scots”, King Edward 1st. Wallace had raided the previous year, burning the women and children to death in the local abbey. The Castle was given permission to add battlements by King Edward III in 1344 (See the actual License in the Castle). The Elizabethans added 'Long Galleries' and Capability Brown designed the park in 1752. The glorious Italian garden was laid out in the 19th century by Sir Jeffrey Wyatville, fresh from his royal triumphs at Windsor Castle. Royal visits from 1200s to this century, and winner of many architectural awards.
The Castle is reputed to be England's most haunted! The Blue Boy, poor, wandering, Lady Mary, a tortured child, the Royal procession and so many other famous stories. Chillingham retains them all because the Castle stays calm and unaltered ever since ancient battling days. With all its beauty and calm, Chillingham has many ghosts…. Of course it has. Quite apart from Lady Mary and her friends, the Castle family lived exciting and romantic lives, they served Kings, but then, as William Shakespeare notes, they rebelled, too. With a record eighteen Knights of the Garter, the family also had no less that eight famous, well recorded, executions. Some were hanged, drawn and quartered. While alive, they were cut down from the Gallows, to have their entrails removed. Still living, the failing body was cut into quarters. The head was displayed on city gates, as a warning. Other members of the family, more fortunate, simply had their heads chopped off.
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