County Durham

Lambton Castle, County Durham

Lambton Castle, when seen from the valley, is a handsome sight indeed; perched high on its hill every bit like a typically large County Durham Castle. Closer inspection reveals it to be a no-less huge mock gothick construction.  It has a superb collection of turrets and curlicues, and a distinctive arcaded archway over the entrance.

At the heart of the Castle is Harraton Hall, a property the Lambton's had owned since 1688. William Henry Lambton inherited in 1794 and employed Joseph Bonomi as architect.  Bonomi's work shows all the trademarks of a former assistant of his, Robert Adam.  Work was ceased in 1801 but then restarted again in 1813.  Two years later Bonomi's son, the curiously named Ignatius, took over his father's role of architect.  It was Ignatius who designed the arcaded entrance porch.

The Bonomi's work was obviously not of a great standard as a goodly chunk had to be demolished and rebuilt for subsidence reasons as soon as 1855.  Two more eminent architects, Dobson and Smirke were employed to remodel the Castle once again and what we are left with is a mixture of all these people's work.

The Castle is in private grounds and completely invisible from any public land - but permission can sometimes be had for a visit if applied for beforehand.

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© Text copyright - Raving Loony Productions, Andrew J. Müller and Roy Barton
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