Barnard Castle: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 54°33′N 1°55′W / 54.55°N 1.92°W / 54.55; -1.92

Barnard Castle
Part of Barnard Castle Market Place showing the "Market Cross" or "Butter Market"
Barnard Castle is located in County Durham
Barnard Castle

 Barnard Castle shown within County Durham
Population 5,189 [1]
OS grid reference NZ047166
Unitary authority County Durham
Ceremonial county County Durham
Region North East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district DL12
Dialling code 01833
Police Durham
Fire County Durham and Darlington
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament Bishop Auckland
List of places: UK • England • County Durham

Barnard Castle is a town in Teesdale, County Durham, England named after the castle around which it grew up. It sits on the north side of the River Tees, opposite Startforth, 34 miles (55 km) south southwest of Newcastle upon Tyne, 30 miles (48 km) west of Middlesbrough and 21 miles (34 km) southwest of the county town of Durham. Other than the castle, the Bowes Museum is also located in the town. Nearby towns include Bishop Auckland north-east, Darlington to the east and Richmond to the south-east.



The castle was founded by the Normans shortly after the conquest, but enjoyed its heyday under Bernard de Bailleul during the latter half of the 12th century. The castle passed into the hands of the Balliol family (of which the Scottish king, John Balliol, was the most important member), and then into the possession of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. King Richard III inherited it through his wife, Anne Neville, but it fell into ruins in the century after his death. The remains are now in the care of English Heritage.

Walter Scott frequently visited his friend John Sawrey Morritt at Rokeby Hall and was fond of exploring Teesdale. He begins his epic poem Rokeby (1813) with a man standing on guard on the round tower of the Barnard Castle fortress.

Charles Dickens and his illustrator Hablot Browne (Phiz) stayed at the King's Head in Barnard Castle while researching his novel Nicholas Nickleby in the winter of 1837-38. He is said to have entered William Humphrey's clock-maker's shop, then opposite the hotel, and enquired who had made a certain remarkable clock. William replied that his boy Humphrey had done it. This seems to have prompted Dickens to choose the title "Master Humphrey's Clock" for his new weekly, in whichThe Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge appeared.

The Bowes Museum housed in a chateau-like building, was founded by John Bowes and his wife and is of national status. It contains an El Greco, paintings by Goya, Canaletto, Boucher, Fragonard and a collection of decorative art. A great attraction is the 18th century silver swan automation, which periodically preens itself, looks round and appears to catch and swallow a fish.

John Bowes lived at nearby Streatlam Castle (now demolished). His Streatlam stud never had more than ten breeding mares at one time, but produced no fewer than four Derby winners in twenty years. The last of these, "West Australian", was the first racehorse to win the Triple Crown (1853).


Barnard Castle is for all purposes (historic, ceremonial and administrative) located in County Durham.

Barnard Castle was the administrative centre of the now defunct Teesdale district of County Durham. The town is now administered by Durham County Council Unitary Authority. It is part of the Bishop Auckland parliamentary constituency, which as of 2005 is represented in parliament by Helen Goodman (Labour). It is in the North East England region, which serves as a constituency for the European Parliament.

The local police force is Durham Constabulary. The town is the base for the Barnard Castle division, which covers 300 square miles. This division is within the force's south area.


  • Elevation: 180 m (600 ft)
  • Nearest large town: Darlington, 16 miles (30 km).


Barnard Castle is located in a picturesque area of Teesdale, therefore regularly attracts visitors from local areas but also visitors further afield. Several holiday parks are located nearby including a Camping and Caravanning Club site.


Barnard Castle has road connections to Bishop Auckland, Spennymoor and central County Durham via the A688 and Darlington and Teesside by the A67. Barnard Castle is also located 4 miles from the A66 with access to both the M6 to the west and the A1(M) to the east. The B6278 also connects Barnard Castle with Middleton-in-Teesdale.

From 1861 to 1964 the town was served by Barnard Castle railway station. Today rail access is via Bishop Auckland, 15 miles (25 km) or Darlington, 20 miles (30 km).



Barnard Castle School

Barnard Castle School, an independent co-educational boarding school, is located on the eastern edge of the town.

Several notable Old Barnardians come from the school; ex-England Rugby players Rob Andrew, now Director of Elite Rugby for the Rugby Football Union (RFU), the Underwood brothers, Tony and Rory along with present England player Mathew Tait and his younger brother Alex, member of the Newcastle Falcons and England U20s team.

Students Rory Clegg, and Alex Gray are members of the England Under 18 squad.[2]

The School also boast many other notable alumni, including Professor Edward Mellanby, the discoverer of vitamin D, as one example.

Teesdale School

Teesdale School Science College and Sixth Form Centre is an 11-18 Comprehensive school welcoming everyone from the local community no matter what their background or ability. It is located on the outskirts of the town, just off the A688.

Green Lane School

Green Lane school is a primary school for 4-11 year olds. Green Lane is situated on a road of the same name not far from Teesdale School. The headteacher is Paula Ford.


Music Festival. The Barney Big Bash is a yearly three day music festival. It has grown from the annual Rhythm & Blues Festival which has been operating for 8 years, into an eclectic mix of live bands suitable for all ages. A family event with children free all weekend.

The Barnard Castle Band, founded in 1860, is a brass band based in the town, well-known outside the area as a result of the march Barnard Castle by Goff Richards.[3]

The Barnard Castle Meet is an annual carnival festival always held on the second bank holiday weekend in May, this is the schools summer half term week. The Meet, as it is known locally, has grown from the North East Cyclists Meet dating back to 1885 and since the early 1900's the town has staged a carnival and grand procession through the town centre. This always falls on the Bank Holiday Monday and leaves the Car Park at GlaxoSmithKline at 1pm. The weekend is now probably the largest event in the Barnard Castle and Teesdale calender. The weekend encompasses around twenty separate events that the Meet Committee asserts 'reach every corner of the community'. In recent years with the sad demise of the r 'n' b festival from the Meet Weekend programme the Committee has staged its own music event showcasing local and national talent on the Sunday and Monday, with all technical and musical support from Teesdale Community Resources (TCR). The 2010 Meet is set to be the largest of modern years with final plans being made for the usual Carnival Showfield which includes, Music, Large Beer Tent, Childrens Rides, Car Boot Sale, Spirit of the Meet, World Rubber Chicken Chucking Championship, Chainsaw Carver Steve Iredale, Jazz Bands Display, Dog Agility Display and more. In addition to the usual programme the 2010 showfield will include a Big Top Circus and Puppet Making with Show. A programme listing all the events over the week is produced yearly by the Committee and is on sale throughout the town from early may. The Meet Committee is a non for profit constituted group which is run solely by a group of volunteers, in 2010 consisting of 5 Members. In 2010 the Meet Weekend celebrations will begin with the Crowning of the Meet Queen on Sat 29th May, though many events preceed this official opening.

Notable people

  • Anne Fine - children's writer. Twice Whitbread Prize winner.
  • Ian Usher - Internet celebrity. Sold his 'life' on eBay.[4]

Former residents


  1. ^
  2. ^ England Rugby (15 August 2007). "England Under 18s record win in Australia". Press release. 
  3. ^ Band website
  4. ^ . Daily Mail. 2008-03-16. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Barnard Castle is in County Durham.

Get in

By car

Barnard Castle is situated close to the A66 trans-pennine road on the A67. The A688 provides a link into the town from northeast County Durham.

Be warned that there is a narrow bridge on the approach from the southwest on the A67 that is not suitable for heavy vehicles. The bridge also involves a 90 degree turn on both entry and exit and it is not unknown for unwary drivers to catch the bridge's side walls. Traffic lights control the flow due to the single-lane nature of the bridge.

There is a large "pay and display" car park at the Morrisons store. There is also free parking on the cobbles in the town center, however Wednesdays and Saturday mornings are market days and you can't park here. Generally though, you should have no problem finding a parking space in the town, and exploring on foot.

Public transport is limited to local buses within in County Durham and the Blackpool to Newcastle coach service provided by Classic Coaches.

Get around

On Foot

Barnard Castle is small enough that the town is best explored on foot.


Barnard Castle is in the 01833 (+44 1833) dialing area and the DL12 postal area.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BARNARD CASTLE, a market-town in the Barnard Castle parliamentary division of Durham, England, 17 m. W. of Darlington by a branch of the North Eastern railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 4421. It is beautifully situated on the steep left bank of the Tees. A noteworthy building in the town is the octagonal town-hall, dating from 1747. There are a few picturesque old houses, and a fragment of an Augustinian convent. St Mary's church, in a variety of styles from Norman onward,. contains some curious monuments; but the building of chief interest is the castle, which gives the town its name, and is the principal scene of Sir Walter Scott's Rokeby. The remains extend over a space of more than six acres. A remarkable building known as the Bowes' Mansion and Museum, bequeathed in 187 4 to the town by a descendant of Sir George Bowes, contains a valuable collection of works of art. In the vicinity of the town are Egglestone Abbey, beautifully situated on the Yorkshire bank of the river, Rokeby Park on the same bank, at the confluence of the Greta, and the massive 14th century castle of Raby to the north-east. The principal manufacture is shoe-thread. The corn-market is important.

As part of the lordship of Gainford, Barnard Castle is said to have been granted by William Rufus to Guy Baliol Bernard, son of Guy Baliol, who built the castle, and called it after himself, Castle Bernard. To the men of the town which grew up outside the castle walls he gave, about the middle of the 12th century, a charter making them burgesses and granting them the same privileges as the town of Richmond in Yorkshire. This charter was confirmed by Bernard Baliol, son of the above Bernard. Other confirmation charters were granted to the town by Hugh, John, and Alexander Baliol. The castle and lordship remained in the hands of the Baliols until John Baliol, king of Scotland, forfeited them with his other English estates in 1296. Barnard Castle was then seized by Anthony, bishop of Durham, as being within his palatinate of Durham. Edward I., however, denied the bishop's rights and granted the castle and town to Guy Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, whose descendants continued to hold them until they passed to the crown by the marriage of Anne Nevill with Richard III., then duke of Gloucester. In 1630 Barnard Castle was sold to Sir Henry Vane, and in the same year the castle is said to have been unroofed and dismantled for the sake of the materials of which it was built. Tanning leather was formerly one of the chief industries of the town. In 1614 an act. for "knights and burgesses to have place in parliament for the county palatine and city of Durham and borough of Barnard Castle" was brought into the House of Commons, but when the act was finally passed for the county and city of Durham, Barnard Castle was not included.

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