Featured image of Lumley Castle

The History of Lumley Castle

LocationChester-Le-Street, Durham, England (Google Map)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byPrivate Owners
Official WebsiteLumley Castle
Rooms AvailableYes (Special events, Weddings, Stays, Dinner events)

Lumley Castle, a more than 600 years old building, is located in Chester-Le-Street of England. Listed as a Grade I building, it currently operates as a hotel under the No Ordinary Hotels chain, but its ownership is still with Lord Scarbrough. The unusual square design, luxury hotel services, and related fascinating haunting stories make Lumley Castle one of the most favourable castle hotels to visit in the United Kingdom.


Lumley Castle is a 14th-century castle that got its name from Sir Ralph Lumley, the original creator. The castle was earlier a family manor house; in 1389, the Lumley returned from Scotland after a war and ordered to convert it into a manor house. However, before the implication of the plan, he was imprisoned, and the land was forfeited to Earl Somerset. He executed Ralph Lumley’s plan and changed the castle’s appearance and function.

In 1421, the castle’s ownership was reverted to Thomas Lumley, the grandson of Sir Ralph Lumley. Later the ownership was passed to John Lumley, 1st Baron Lumley, and he changed the windows of the castle so that light could enter it, installed a new fireplace, and installed black and white marble. In 1603, James VI and I, the King of England, became the first guests of the castle. The King James Suite hotel room was reconstructed to fulfil his necessities.

The castle remained the same way till the 19th century. Later, it became the residence of the Bishop of Durham after he gave his residence of Durham castle to the University of Durham. The castle became a hall of residence for the university, and the students used to spend their first year at this castle and their remaining years at Durham castle.

In the early 1960s, Lumley castle was sold by the University of Durham to get another land so that students could stay on the same site throughout their course. In 1976, the castle’s management was landed to No Ordinary Hotels by Lord Scarbrough, the property owner. Now, the castle is transformed into a 73-bedroomed hotel with a picturesque backdrop. The castle is believed to be haunted, and many ghost stories are related to it but still, visitors love to visit it and experience its royal and luxurious setting.


Lumley castle architecture
Lumley castle architecture”, by barnyz, is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Lumley Castle is a quadrangular castle with a fascinating structure. It is a large castle with three ranges around a service court designed using stand stone. It has pantiled roofs and stone chimneys, which are hard to find in current architectures. Also, you will find four angel towers a hall in the west range in it. It is covered with beautiful parklands overlooking River Wear and Durham County Cricket Ground and allows visitors to make their stay peaceful.

The castle’s ground floor has a medieval theme with pointed doorways, jewelled stairs connecting all floors, and classic windows. Every 73 rooms of the castle have a luxurious feel, and most of them are regally sized. It also includes the library bar, lounge, knights restaurant, private dining, and baron’s bar, and each of them has a combination of medieval and modern design. In addition, you will find some amazing decorations and furniture throughout the castle that will give a feel that you have gone back into the 1400s.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Lumley Castle?

Lumley Castle is a more than 600 years old castle located at Ropery Ln, Chester-Le-Street of the United Kingdom. It is situated between the vibrant beats of Newcastle and the historic city of Durham.

Who lived in Lumley Castle?

Lumley Castle is the family house of Lumley’s, and currently, it is the property of the Earl of Scarbrough. It is transformed into a hotel under No Ordinary Hotels chain management, but its ownership is still in possession of Lord Scarbrough.

What is the name of the ghost that haunts Lumley Castle?

Lumley Castle has many ghost stories, but most of them revolve around the ghost of Lily Lumley. Ralph Lumley secretly married her before meeting Eleanor Neville, but their family disapproved. She was supposed to be thrown down the castle’s well for rejecting the Catholic faith. Now, Lily Lumley’s ghost is believed to haunt the castle because of an unexpected death.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
Also, don’t forget to mention your name and social media profile link if you want the credits!

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He is a versatile E-Learning Support Officer and former Academic Officer at the University of York, United Kingdom. Not just an expert in education and technology, Debayan also has a deep love for castles and mountains. With a passion for travel, having explored 168+ cities worldwide, and a keen eye for photography, He brings a unique blend of experiences to the table. Specializing in E-learning content, IT support, AR development, and software engineering, Debayan has made a significant impact, educating over 200,000 students on Udemy.

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