Brancepeth Castle

Saturday 18th June 2022

We visited the Grade 1 listed medieval Brancepeth Castle in the village of Brancepeth, some 5 miles south-west of the city of Durham. First constructed in the mid-12th century, it has a dynamic history, constantly changing hands and use. The current owners' family (Dobson) were publishers and bought the castle to store their extensive book holdings.

Tea/coffee and biscuits preceded a tour of the castle led by members of the current owner’s family. Good weather allowed a full tour of the castle exterior before a comprehensive tour of the important castle rooms. The castle's many occupiers had each stamped their mark on various areas, including James A. Jobling and Co. Ltd., the former UK manufacturers of Pyrex, who based their R&D there before their licence from Corning in the USA expired.

A tasty lunch of homemade soup & bread, and homemade cake & coffee/tea was much enjoyed in the castle's dining area.

The owners then opened their shop, giving us an opportunity to buy postcards, guidebooks, prints from les grands évènements de 1968, and a very interesting range of Dobson Books.

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