Built in 1350, during the reign of Edward III, the castle has retained its architectural integrity and is regarded as one of the few medieval fortified Castle Hotels in England. Over the past 600 years, the Castle has been owned, together with its estate, by Lords and Ladies whose names were frequently associated with the turbulent history of the Kingdom. During the 17th century the Langley estates became the property of the Earls of Derwentwater; Viscounts Langley. James , the third Earl and Charles his brother, took part in the Jacobite risings of 1715. They were subsequently executed at the Tower of London. A cross stands by the road from the Castle to Haydon Bridge commemorating their loyalty to the King of Scotland (their Lawful Sovereign), which reads:
In memory of James and Charles
Beheaded on Tower Hill
24th Feb 1716 and 8th Dec 1746
For Loyalty to their Lawful Sovereign
The property was confiscated by the Crown and its administration passed to the Royal Naval Hospital at Greenwich in London. Signs of the Admiralty's influence can still be seen in the area. For example the anchor motif on the front of a house at Langley and the naming of a pub in Haydon Bridge as The Anchor.
In 1882 a local historian, Cadwallader Bates, purchased the property. The restoration of the Castle to its original 14th Century structure became a life's work not only for Cadwallader, but also for his wife Josephine, who continued his work after Cadwalladers death in 1902. Josephine rebuilt the original chapel on the castle roof in memory of her husband and worked tirelessly until her own death in 1933. She is buried alongside her husband in the castle grounds.
We are currently looking for images of the castle from the last hundred years to put in a new Langley Castle history book and add to the website for others to enjoy. Perhaps you went to school here or know someone that did? We would love to hear from you. Did you attend one of the medieval banquets or were stationed here during the second world war? Please get in touch.