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Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 07:23 GMT 08:23 UK
Castle ruin opens to public
Hadrian's Wall
Stones from the wall were used to build the castle
A medieval castle close to the historic Hadrian's Wall is to open to the public for the first time in 300 years.

Thirlwall Castle, near Greenhead, Northumberland, will open on Thursday, ending three years of restoration work.

The Grade I listed building, situated next to the wall, has been an derelict shell since the 17th Century.

The castle, in Northumberland National Park, was in danger of collapse, and has only been saved after a 420,000 project to preserve the ruins.

Fortified house

The castle was home to the Thirlwall family, who built it between 1330 and 1350.

It was a fortified hall-house, built around a central large halll.

Thirlwall Castle
The building has been empty for 300 years

Project manager Dr Albert Weir said: "This building spans hundreds of years of history.

"The Thirlwall family used the Roman wall as a ready source of material for this protective building."

After the union of England and Scotland in the early 18th Century, when there was no longer a threat of border raids, the family abandoned the castle.

It has remained untouched since then.

Thirlwall Castle has a key position at the junction of the Pennine Way and the new Hadrian's Wall Trail.


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16 Aug 02 | England
25 Jun 02 | England
10 Jul 99 | Europe
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