Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Chillingham Castle and the Radiant Boy

 A-Z Challenge 2012 C

Chillingham Castle and the Radiant Boy

Chillingham Castle is so serene in this picture from Morris’s Country Seats (1880)

Chillingham Castle (1880)
With a name like Chillingham the castle just has to be haunted, doesn’t it?

Chillingham Castle in England’s Northumberland is claimed to be the most haunted in Britain. This 12th century stronghold was stormed by the Grey family in 1246. In 1298 Edward I stayed at the stronghold on his way to battle the Scots. Chillingham became a castle in 1344 after Edward III granted a licence for it to be crenellated. It remained in the Grey’s possession until in 1933 the last descendants, then the Tankervilles, moved out. In 1983 the ruin was taken over by Sir Humphrey Wakefield whose wife is a member of the Grey family. Visitors can explore the castle and its grounds, restored by the Wakefields, and may even stay overnight to experience for themselves its twisting stone stairways, echoing corridors and creepy dark dungeons.

Chillingham Castle - 2005
The most famous of Chillingham’s ghosts is that of the Radiant Boy. The boy, dressed in blue, found documents intended to help the Spanish defeat the English during the time of the Spanish Armada. The boy’s body was found during 1920’s restoration work along, with fragments of blue cloth, where he had been walled up alive. His finger boned had been worn down where he had tried to scratch his way out.

Sometimes on the stroke of midnight you can hear his heart rending cries of agony and fear. The centre of the cries always emanate from the castle’s Pink room. The noises are usually traced to a spot near a passage cut through a ten-foot wall. As the wails die away, a bright halo of light sometimes appears around an old four poster bed; anybody sleeping in the bed would see the figure of a young boy dressed in blue, approaching them.

For more about castles you may like to follow Hilary’s B - Balmoral Castle, Scotland

  • Chillingham Castle in Northumberland from Morris’s County Seats (1880) – public domain.
  • Chillingham Castle; By Glen Bowman; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.


DW96 said...

You're combining the best of your themes in this challenge, Bob: photographs and haunted castles. Great stuff.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob .. this is a great post - the story of the Radiant Boy is too terrible to think about. I'm not sure I'd like to stay there .. but it sounds a fascinating place to visit.

So pleased the Wakefields have restored parts of the Castle .. but as you say Chillingham does sound slightly chilly ..

Thanks for the link .. it's fun both of us doing Castles - so far very different choices .. Cheers Hilary

Murees Dupé said...

This is a sad...but great story. I really enjoyed it. The pictures are great as well. Though, I feel really sad for the little boy who was buried alive.

Jenn said...

I would love to visit this castle-- and the fact it is haunted-- makes me really want to visit the castle!! I don't like to hear that the boy was buried alive. That is sad. Oh but the castle really does look beautiful!! I could relax awhile-- maybe?

Cheers, Jenn

Jo said...

Just caught up on your castles having linked from Hilary. I have never heard of any of your castles. Hubby knew Bamburgh his mum came from that area. Love the pictures.

Terrible things people did yesteryear. Poor boy. What a horror.

I'm doing A-Z recipes. Only started today.

Guilie said...

Loved it! Huuuge fan of history (and thus ghosts). New follower here, and very happy to have found your blog!

Karen Walker said...

Will have to go to this castle some day.

Robyn Campbell said...

Wow, Bob, what a fantastic place. The pictures are beautiful. I love learning about historic places. What a great theme. That poor boy. How terribly tragic.

Maggie McGee said...


Ann Best said...

Wow. That is one chilling ghost story! And an incredible castle. And the grounds around it -- All so chillingly perfect! I'm SO enjoying your and Hilary's tour of these awesome castles.
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Little Nell said...

Does anyone actually stay the night though ....and live to tell the tale?

Roza M said...

Love this!

Lost Star said...

Fab! :D

Horst Peters said...

Just visiting. I'll like what you're doing- it's very interesting.

I'll be back


November Rain - k~ said...

Photos AND castles (swwwwwwooooons)... okay following... it's a given. This is great!

A-Z 2012 (#49) - Bloggit Write A-Z 2012 - Poetry
A-Z 2012 (#861) - Bloggit Write A-Z 2012 - Haiku

Sarah Pearson said...

being walled up alive is the thing that freaks me out more than almost anything - the castle is beautiful though :-)

Diligent Writer said...

I love the photos!! I like the castle where Radiant Boy was the most. Beautiful and enjoyable posts!! Thanks!