Naworth Castle stands close to Hadrian's Wall and was built to guard the Scottish borderland.
The earliest part of the building was constructed by the Lords Dacre of Gilsland in the 14th century after licence to crenellate was granted in 1335.
The present house consists of an courtyard with towers at the corners. The two tallest towers flank the south (entrance) range.
The first-floor Hall was probably built by Thomas, Lord Dacre of the North, in the early-16th century. He was the commander of the reserve forces at Flodden and his arms are displayed over the detached entrance gateway.
When Lord Dacre married Elizabeth de Greystoke the family's estates were increased. However, in 1560 the male line came to an end and the castle and their estates passed by marriage to Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk.
The Duke settled the estate on his younger son, Lord William Howard. He repaired the castle and created a library, an oratory and a bedroom in one of the towers.
When Castle Howard was built on one of the family's Yorkshire estates in the early-18th century, Naworth Castle ceased to be the Howard's principal residence.
The building became neglected and in 1844 was gutted by fire. The castle's present appearance is a result of the restoration by Anthony Salvin (1846 - 48) and C.J. Ferguson.
In the 1880s George Howard, later 9th Earl of Carlisle, engaged Philip Webb to make alterations to the south range. Lord Carlisle was an aesthetcally minded Liberal who was apposed to the principle of primogeniture. On his death the family estates did not automatically go to his eldest son but were divided.
His eldest son received the smaller share which included Naworth Castle.
Today the house remains in the hands of his descendants.
Naworth Castle is entered through the Hall which has a vast arch-braced roof and contains four massive painted wooden heraldic beasts, used by the Dacres as standards in battles, and probably date from the early-16th century. On the walls are French tapestries, dated 1610, which were acquired in the Orleans sale following the French Revolution.
The Gallery, panelled by Salvin, contains portraits and watercolours. A staircase descends to the former library which is on the site of the medieval chapel destroyed by the fire of 1844. The Drawing Room, created by Webb in a neo-Elizabethan style contains a collection of Howard portraits.
The castle is surrounded by grounds which include a 17th century walled garden. There are also 400 acres of woodlands.
Naworth Castle is open all year by appointment only for pre-booked group tours.
The castle is now a function venue and is licenced for civil weddings.