Chillingham Castle (Northumberland): home of the iron maiden (& Sir Humphry)

We were somewhat excited to visit Chillingham, because its owner, Sir Humphry is one of those landed gents who isn’t afraid of a bit of reality TV and therefore we’d seen him in action riding bareback across his estate and hosting ghost evenings in his castle.  I had rather warmed to him but it looked like we wouldn’t have time to visit him.  Fortunately, we finished up somewhere else early and at 3pm found we’d be able to get to him for 4pm, leaving us 90 minutes to wander around.

Some of what I found seriously impressed me: Sir Humphry has taken a derelict shell and made it a home.  The lounge and saloon upstairs are delightful.

Other bits are a bit touristy and I imagine the first thing his children do after he goes will be to have a good clear out.

Downstairs there is a room of torture implements.  I even discovered what an iron maiden really is!

One gets the impression that Sir Humphry is a rule unto his own, but at least his home is what I always ask for them to be, just that, a home.  Stuff everywhere.

When visited: July 2014


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5 thoughts on “Chillingham Castle (Northumberland): home of the iron maiden (& Sir Humphry)

  1. Robin How nice to see your post on Chillingham. During the 1990’s, we had the pleasure and one might say, the experience, of working with Sir Humphry on a furniture reproduction program, inspired by the great collections across the UK. We toured many great homes and what a wonderful opportunity to see such great art, architecture and furniture, with the additional bonus of Sir H as our guide. What a charming man with a wealth of knowledge. Although I never stepped foot in Chillingham, the photos are a reminder, as you say, that these great houses were homes first and foremost. This brings back many great memories… Thank you for sharing.

    john Black

    John Black J Black Design 336.547.7708

  2. Wonderful evocative and atmospheric photos! Thank you for sharing these. Often see photos of the exterior but not as many of the interior as you have posted here. Fascinating.

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