The North Hylton area of Sunderland boasts the city’s only castle; the aptly named Hylton Castle, now in ruins. A castle has stood on this spot since 1066, when the Hilton family were awarded land in the area following the Norman Conquest. Rebuilt in stone during the 14th-15th centuries, all that remains today are the magnificent gate house and nearby chapel which was dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria in 1157.
Hylton Castle is also home to one of the north-east’s most enduring folk stories, which is well known to school children of the city and beyond. It concerns the life and death of a certain stablehand named Roger Skelton, who is thought to have served the Hylton family in the early 17th century.
Since we were ‘based’ in Sunderland, these were taken over the course of the weekend.
Today is a pretty important day for the north-east of England; today, our bid for UNESCO World Heritage Status was finalised and sent to London.
The bid covers the twin monasteries of St. Peter’s in Monkwearmouth and St. Paul’s in Jarrow, both founded in the 7th century. If the bid is eventually successful then the twin sites will be on a par with such places of historical importance as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Forbidden City in China and Egypt’s pyramids.