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Henry Fitzhugh built the current Ravensworth Castle in 1391 on the site of the previous 11th century fortress and received a licence to enclose 200 acres of land around the castle to make a park. The park pale (‘pale’ being a medieval term used to refer to a substantial boundary often associated with parks or deer parks), is still evident in numerous areas to the south of the castle.
After the end of the Fitzhugh male line in 1513 the castle passed through the female ‘Parr’ line, but by 1571 it passed to the Crown Estate and the castle was ruined largely as a result of being quarried for local building materials. In the middle of the 16th century the castle was substantially pulled down although the antiquarian John Leyland recorded that the gatehouse was still intact. Over the following centuries the castle passed through various ownerships and today is retained in private hands.
In the wider landscape around the castle there is extensive evidence in the form of ridge and furrow cultivation for the medieval farming regime of the area.
There were a number of skirmishes in the area during the Civil War and the region was a Royalist stronghold.
The importance of Ravensworth Castle has been recognised in its designation as both a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I Listed Building.
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