The Featured Image of Raby Castle

Raby Castle- A Medieval Marvel

LocationStaindrop, County of Durham, England (Google Maps)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byThe Vane Family
Official WebsiteRaby Castle
Rooms AvailableYes (Events)

Raby Castle is one of the most impressive preserved castles in North England with a fascinating history. Surrounded by lush green gardens with a glistening pond, the castle is one the most distinguished castles of its time and hosts thousands of visitors yearly.

Raby Castle History

Raby Castle History Image
RabyCastle, by David Dixon, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Nevills family, around the 14th Century, built the foundation of this Castle. The castle could be accessed via a drawbridge and served as a palace-fortress. The Nevill family retained their residence in the castle till the 16th Century. However, the family was forced to evacuate, and this Castle came under the Crown’s ownership post the failure of the Rising of the North. The Sixth Earl of Westmorland was the last Nevill to live in this Castle until he fled and died in exile in Holland.

Raby Castle stayed under Crown ownership till 1626, when Sir Henry Vane, the Elder, purchased it. A new period began for this Castle, where it became the fortress for a prominent member of Parliament. Sir Henry Vane the Elder also made considerable renovations within the castle.

Raby Castle Inside

Raby Castle Inside Image
Raby Castle, by Ian Greig, is licensed under 6 C, 16 P, 22 F

Raby Castle houses various cultural and historical artifacts dating to the 17th Century. The castle’s art, textiles, and furniture present its magnificent glory over the centuries. The bathhouse, icehouse, temple, model farms, and other landscape parks constructed on the castle grounds mirror the 18th Century.

Raby Castle visitors can experience the Blue Bedroom, designed for important Castle visitors in the 19th Century, and the head housekeeper’s bedroom, which is starkly furnished with ornaments and a wardrobe. Visitors can also experience the small Drawing Room, library, and Ante-Library.

Castle opening times are 11 am – 4 pm from Wednesdays to Sundays (plus Tuesdays in July and August and Bank Holidays) from March to October.

Raby Castle Interesting Facts

Some interesting facts about Raby Castle are:

  • This Castle was named after the Viking settlements, which were established in the region around the 11th Century.
  • The construction of this Castle took twenty-three years of labour.
  • This Castle is famous for its captivating artefacts that adorn the castle’s interiors. Most of these arts and crafts are made by Old Masters, including Sir Anthony Van Dyck and Jacopo Amigoni. However, the most interesting artefact in the castle is ‘the Greek Slave’ made by the famous neoclassical artist Hiram Powers.
  • The castle’s visitors are invited to the Bear Hunt trail in the Castle potter’s forest, where they can spot the different species of bears hidden in the woodland and learn about them on the way.

Raby Castle Nearby Places to Stay

Merlin House: It is located 2.5 km from the castle in Cockfield. The holiday home is perfect for a family as it has two bedrooms, a kitchen, a TV, a seating area, and one bathroom.

Wayside Cottage: It is 1.6 km from Raby Castle in Darlington.

Foxes Den: Located 3.6 km from the castle in Darlington. The holiday home features a garden and free private parking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Raby Castle?

Raby Castle is owned by the Vane family and is home to Lord and Lady Barnard.

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