Thirlwall Castle: Myth and Legend
Baron John returned from distant wars with great spoils, amongst which was a table of solid gold guarded by a hideous dwarf whose pitch-coloured skin proclaimed his exotic origins. After many raids made by envious Border and Scottish Chiefs eager to seize the treasure for themselves, the castle was finally taken by the Scots and most of its defenders killed. But when the Scots battered down the door of the chamber where the table had been kept, it had vanished along with its guardian the dwarf.
One of the Scots then claimed that he had seen the Black Dwarf staggering under the weight of the table to the castle well. The Dwarf flung the table down the well shaft and leapt in after it, magically sealing the well after him. Legend has it that he remains there still, guarding his table in some underground cavern far below Thirlwall Castle's foundations. He is under the influence of a spell which can only be removed by the only son of a widow.
During the restoration of Blenkinsopp Castle, an entrance to a secret passage was found in the north-west corner. It is supposed that this passage connected Blenkinsopp Castle to Thirlwall Castle, a mile and a half distant; this passage was to allow a means of escape should either castle be captured by some enemy.
The legend of Blenkinsopp surrounds the White Lady, foreign bride of Bryan de Blenkinsopp. She hid her dowry of treasure from him at the end of a tunnel beneath the castle. This led to Bryan de Blenkinsopp leaving home, never to return. It is said that the remorseful lady cannot rest and mourns over the chest of gold. Her spirit will be able to rest only when someone follows her to the vault and removes the treasure.