Film ID:
NEFA 22224



Visitor Tabs


Tyne Tees Television Today at Six news report on the sale of Brancepeth Castle near Durham City. Includes various views of the architecture, interior, and picturesque wooded grounds of Brancepeth Castle. Alister Harrison interviews a local historian sporting a colorful kipper tie who recounts the history of the architecture and the owners of the castle.This news item was originally broadcast on 5 February 1975.

The report begins with various shots of Brancepeth Castle architecture including medieval towers, early 19th century (Regency) additions, inner courtyards and the interior of the nearby St. Brandon’s church.

A flamboyantly dressed man (possibly a local historian) describes the history of the castle as a stronghold for the Neville family in medieval times and, in 1817, William Russell, a Sunderland man who made a fortune in collieries, who employed Edinburgh architect John Paterson to create a grand stately home within the walls and extensions. He thinks the castle is a romantic stage set: “It’s a god’s gift to a film producer, I mean, if Roman Polanski wants to come and do Macbeth again – here is just the setting.” He believes it has ghosts but is more of an Edgar Allen Poe building. He is not so enthusiastic about the interior, which he finds boring. He continues to narrate the later history of the castle with a number of owners including the Dukes of Westminster Estates. Its death knell was sounded as a family house, he thinks, by the First World War.

The report ends with views of the grounds shot from the Brancepeth Castle battements and exterior shots of the Regency-built additions to the castle.

[Brancepeth Castle was, until 1570, the fortress of the Neville Earls of Westmorland and was extensively modified and rebuilt in the 19th Century. It was occupied by Durham Light Infantry during World War II and later housed the research labs of glassware and Pyrex makers, J A Joblings. In 1978, publishing duo Dennis and Margaret Dobson bought the castle to house their back stock of books and enormous collection of recorded music. Dennis died suddenly that year but Margaret made her home at the castle until her death there in 2014.]