13 July 2008

Stockton Castle

Stockton-on-Tees began as an Anglo-Saxon settlement on high ground close to the northern bank of the River Tees. In later times this area became the site of a Norman castle belonging to the Prince-Bishops of Durham. Dating from at least the Twelfth century this castle was originally a hall belonging to Hugh Pudsey a famous Bishop of Durham. At what date the hall was fortified we do not know although it is first referred to as a castle in 1376. During the Civil War Stockton castle was a Royalist stronghold and in1640 when a treaty was signed making the Tees a boundary between the forces of Scotland and the King, this castle stayed in Royalist hands.

The Scottish forces finally captured Stockton castle in 1644 and it was garrisoned by them until 1646. At the end of the Civil War the castle was destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell and only the castle barn was left standing. Sadly this barn was demolished in the nineteenth century and today nothing remains of the old castle of Stockton on Tees;

"Old Noll in his day out of pious concern.

The castle demolished sold all but the barn."

The site of Stockton castle is now occupied by a prominent hotel its former presence indicated by Tower Street and the Castle Shopping centre. Some of the stonework from the old castle was incorporated into Stockton's Green Dragon Yard, just off the High Street.

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