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Walworth Castle near Darlington 20th March 2011
Walworth Castle is a 16th century mansion house, built in the style of a medieval castle and situated at Walworth, near Darlington, County Durham, England. It is a Grade 1 listed building. It was completed around 1600, probably by Thomas Holt for Thomas Jenison. It stands on the site of a former manor house or castle built in the 12th century by the Hansard family. The estate passed through the hands of the Ayscoughs and Aylmers besides the Hansards and Jenisons, and became a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II and then a girls' boarding school after the war. It has been a hotel since 1981.
The present manor house stands on the site of a previous manor house or castle which was built around 1150 by the Hansard family. There is no evidence that the building was ever used for defence. The title to the castle fell into the hands of the House of Neville after the 1349 Black Death, but was reclaimed by Robert Hansard in 1391. The castle then passed to Sir Richard Hansard in 1395, his son Richard in 1454, his grandson Richard in 1466, Sir William Hansard in 1508, Sir William's short-lived son William in 1520, and his daughter Elizabeth Hansard (William's sister) in 1521. In 1539 she married Sir Francis Ayscough, so the castle passed to the Ayscough family. In 1563 the castle passed to her son William Ayscough, but because there were no further heirs the castle was sold.
Some 34 members enjoying their Sunday lunch, while catching up with the what had been happening over the Winter months.