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A comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales and the Islands.
 
 
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Beaufront Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Turris de Bewfronte; bello fronte; Befront; Befron

In the civil parish of Sandhoe.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY96396595
Latitude 54.98811° Longitude -2.05786°

Beaufront Castle has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are no visible remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.

Description

Country House, 1836-1841 by John Dobson for William Cuthbert, incorporating part of late C17 mansion of the Errington family, on medieval site (Listed Building Report)

A list dated 1415 refers to a tower at Beaufront (Bates 1891).
Beaufront Castle stands on the site of the tower of Beaufront, mentioned in 1415, and styled a manor in 1547. In 1587 the estate was sold to the Erringtons who made it their chief residence. The present house, in the domestic castellated style, was built in 1841, but the kitchens and rooms above are 17th C. and the clock tower bell is inscribed '1694' (Hodgson 1897).
A large private residence surrounded by extensive ornamental grounds, the site commands extensive views to the S.E. & W. along the R. Tyne Valley. The ground and first floor of the N.E. wing of domestic offices are the sole visible remains of the 17th C. building, all the windows within this portion are modern insertions. There is no structural evidence for the pre 1415 tower (F1 FDC 23.5.56).
It is assumed that the tower house was built by John de Errington circa 1380. The tower was incorporated into a new mansion in 1586, but apparently disappeared when the present building was completed in 1841 (Dodds 1999). (PastScape)

Beaufront Castle was first recorded as a tower in 1415. In 1587 it was sold to the Errington family who made it their main house. The present house was built in 1841, though it includes earlier remains. (Keys to the Past)

John Errington was married to Elizabeth de Vaux who was the heiress of Beaufront (although the Vaux were tenants of Hexham Priory) but the Errington family did not obtain the estate in their own right until 1587. It is unclear to Gatehouse on what evidence Dodds (1999) suggests a construction date of 1380 although this is not improbable. The form of the turris recorded in 1415 is not known but the gentry status of the family and their tenant status for this property probably suggest a solar tower attached to an unfortified hall rather than a grand tower house or castle. The current castle name is modern and, presuambly, dates to the construction of the C19 castellated house.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER       Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
OS getamap   Streetmap   Old-Maps   Where's the path   NLS maps  
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   EarthTools   GeoHack  
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated on Saturday, September 20, 2014

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