Scargill Castle made the news when it was purchased in 1999 as a wedding present. Back then it was a derelict ruin with no roof, floors or windows. In fact it had been highlighted by English Heritage as a Building at Risk.
The romance of the wedding present gesture between two archaeologists hit the press and the story spread across the world with articles in newspapers as far as South Africa. Soon Scargill family members from across the world contacted the castle's owners to share family history and discoveries.
Labour of Love
Carving by John Degnan
The first phase of restoration at Scargill took place in 2000-1. This phase of restoration repaired the roof and chimney, inserted new floors, internal doors and windows and new massive oak doors were made for the front. Grant aid and specialist support from English Heritage, Teesdale District Council and the European Union made much of the works possible.
It was another ten years before the resources were found to carry out the next phase of restoration. This phase constructed a new kitchen on the site of an old lean-to hay barn, a new bathroom out of an old byre and a new entrance hall and introduced services to the entire building. Sustainable sources of heat and electricity were installed using photo-voltaic panels on the adjacent byre roof and an air source heat pump inside the byre. Traditional forms of construction were used with lime rather than cement, and best use was made of the building’s Tudor thermal efficiency (very thick walls!).
Phase one conservation in 2000
The Castle was reopened as a romantic retreat in May 2012 and immediately couples keen to celebrate their wedding anniversaries and honeymoons flocked to stay. Marriage proposals were made and accepted and others just came to get away from it all. Scargill Castle has now made the journey from romantic ruin to romantic retreat and awaits your visit. Make Scargill’s history part of your history.