Featured in HORRORAMA, December 2009
“Its current owners market the castle as being the most haunted castle in Britain. It has been investigated on television and radio (namely, Most Haunted, I’m Famous and Frightened!, Scariest Places On Earth, Holiday Showdown, Alan Robson’s Nightowls) and now Ghost Hunters International.
The most famous ghost of the castle is the “blue (or radiant) boy”, who according to the owners used to haunt the Pink Room in the castle. Guests supposedly reported seeing blue flashes and a blue “halo” of light above their beds after a loud wail. It is claimed that the hauntings ceased after renovation work revealed the bodies of a man and a young boy bricked inside a 10-foot-thick wall. The owners also claim that the ghosts of John Sage, a former torturer, and of Lady Mary Berkeley haunt the castle. Guests have reported hearing screams for help and doors slamming mysteriously."
“The castle was originally a monastery in the late 12th century. In 1298, King Edward I, or “Edward Longshanks”, stayed at the castle on his way to Scotland to battle a Scottish army led by William Wallace. A window was specially installed for the king, a rarity in such buildings at the time.
The castle occupied a strategically important location in medieval times: it was located on the border between two feuding nations. It was used as a staging post for English armies entering Scotland, but was also repeatedly attacked and besieged by Scottish armies and raiding parties heading south. The site contained a moat, and in some locations the fortifications were 12 feet thick.
The building underwent a series of enhancements, and in 1344 a Licence to crenellate was issued by King Edward III to allow battlements to be built, effectively upgrading the stronghold to a fully fortified castle, of quadrangular form.
In 1617, James I, the first king of both England and Scotland, stayed at the castle on a journey between his two kingdoms. As relations between the two countries became peaceful following the union of the crowns, the need for a military stronghold in the area declined. The castle was gradually transformed; the moat was filled, and battlements were converted into residential wings. A banquet hall and a library were built."
Shot taken at the rear of Chillingham Castle, Northumberland, with a Panasonic Lumix G1, 14-45mm lens (1/125, f/5.6). The rear of the castle offers a huge contrast in culture and history as you move from the medieval, ‘haunted’ battle castle, to the rear, a Victorian mansion, very prestigious and grand. It is a trick to the senses and a must visit.
RAW conversion via Lightroom and CS3.
Best viewed in large format.
Also from the Chillingham series:
A Tortured Soul and his Bloody Crown of Thorns
Chillingham Castle Courtyard
Steps to the Castle