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Brancepeth Castle, Durham

4.7
#8 of 14 in Historic Sites in Durham
Castle · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Brancepeth is a village and civil parish in County Durham, in England. It is situated about 8 km (5 mi) from Durham on the A690 road between Durham and Weardale. The population of the civil parish taken at the 2011 census was 414.
Brancepeth Castle was until 1570 the fortress of the Neville Earls of Westmorland. The castle was extensively modified and rebuilt in the 19th century by Viscount Boyne (later Baron Brancepeth). It was later a military hospital.
St Brandon's Church was famed for its exceptional 17th-century woodwork, until it was destroyed in a major fire in 1998; the church has since been restored and reroofed.
In 1924, Harry Colt laid out a golf course on the deer park which formed part of the estate surrounding the castle. A club house was created from the old coach house and stables and remains in use by Brancepeth Castle Golf Club. The 6,400-yard, par 70 course is regarded as one of the finest in the north-east of England.

According to one story, the village's name is said to derive from "Brawn's Path". There is a legend that Brancepeth was once terrorised by an enormous brawn, which was eventually killed by a knight named Sir Roger de Ferie in 1208. A commemorative stone marks the traditional location of the brawn's death.
A more likely explanation is that it derives from "Brandon's Path", after St Brandon, the patron saint of the parish church.
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Brancepeth Castle reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
22 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Visited today and took part in the tour. It’s very much a family affair. Alison took us round and was very friendly, informative and it was relaxed. It’s clear the pride the family have with the... 
    Visited today and took part in the tour. It’s very much a family affair. Alison took us round and was very friendly, informative and it was relaxed. It’s clear the pride the family have with the...  more »
  • Just spent a most enjoyable time at Brancepeth Castle. Such a lovely place with an interesting history dating back from the 1100s to the present day. The homemade cakes are also to die for. 
    Just spent a most enjoyable time at Brancepeth Castle. Such a lovely place with an interesting history dating back from the 1100s to the present day. The homemade cakes are also to die for.  more »
Google
  • Fantastic castle! Passed through this castle on one of our school hikes. Was closed for the day but went in as far as the tea room; ate some wonderful cakes. Definitely coming back here for a proper tour!
  • We really enjoyed the old castle tour,which started outside then inside. An old church to look around. Nice little cafe with homemade cakes. Really would recommend it.

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