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Chillingham Castle: State Rooms

Visit the glorious state rooms at Chillingham Castle to really experience the medieval history within the castle.

James 1st Room

In 1603, after a visit from the King, a new suite called James 1st was created. Famous for its Elizabethan ceiling with the gilded ribbing and finely moulded pendants, it is an architectural delight. This room is brilliantly furnished with paintings, tapestries and Sir Humphrey’s extraordinary copies of antique originals lined with patterned silk.

The Plaque Room Library

The Plaque Room Library is encrusted with family history. Family memorabilia and furnishings offer an insight into the ancestors of the Grey Family.

The fine carved stone chimney piece is surmounted by an intricate 16th century plasterwork armorial plaque from the Grey family.

Edward 1st Room

In the most ancient state room in the castle, the Edward 1st room, the Lords of the castle were secluded up high and safe; above the stench from the moats below and the chaos of attack. The room is named after the visit of “Proud Edward, Hammer of the Scots” in 1298. King Henry III also stayed here in 1245 when he came by for his Scottish forays.

The beautiful gothic window overlooking the exquisite garden may even have been designed by William of Durham, who designed the Coronation Throne in Westminster Abbey.

The room was restored recently to its 13th century format. A gallery, weapons, armor and furnishings of its time were added to the room to give a fantastic display.

Also on exhibit is the castle’s “Licence to Crenellate”, or Royal permission to build battlements, issued in 1344. This license was not freely granted as it meant the castle would be hard for royal troops to assault. The license was drawn up by Sir Humphry Wakefield’s forebear, William de Wakefield, secretary to King Edward III. Throughout the country, this is the only place you can find the ‘Licence to Crenellate’ in its castle of origin.

In a secret compartment, to the right of the north window, 125 Elizabethan documents were discovered during renovation some relating to the Spanish Armada, others to the Royal succession of James VI of Scotland.