Today i went for a walk around Hylton Castle in Sunderland, scene of my youthful days, i lived in a house opposite this fab castle, which is haunted by the ghost of the murdered stable hand Robert Skelton apparently murdered for courting the Baron Hyltons daughter.
The castle itself has now fallen into a delapidated state but has stood since being built from wood after the Norman conquest of 1066, it was later rebuilt in stone around the 14th century. It remained the principal seat of the Hylton family until the 1800s, after several changes of owner the castle was sold to the state in 1950, since then its fallen deeper into disrepair, and is plagued by youths who congregate at night.
All that remains of the castle and the chapel now is owned by English Heritage, They are both Grade 1 listed buildings, but unless something radical is done to save the castle who knows what the future holds.
As a child i spent many happy hour playing in the grounds and picking conkers from the floor.
One of the castle’s main features, is the heraldic devices found mainly on the west façade, which have been retained from the castle’s original construction. They depict the coats of arms belonging to local gentry and peers of the late 14th to early 15th centuries and provide an approximate date of the castle’s reconstruction from wood to stone.
The main doorway up until the 1980’s used to be open to the public but is now kept firmly closed to try to preserve what is left of the castle.
Its always nice to go back to childhood times but its with heavy heart looking around Hylton Castle and seeing what is left now,
More information about the castle and the cauld lad can be found here