Greenhead is picturesque village and home to Thirlwall Castle
This small village lies just outside the Northumberland National Park, down the road from Walltown. It’s a great place to stop on the Pennine Way.
Here you’ll find tearooms, accommodation, a friendly pub and a farmers market on second Sunday of each month
It’s also easy to get to Thirlwall Castle is a 12th-century castle on the bank of the River Tipalt. In 1999, Northumberland National Park Authority acquired a 99-year lease on Thirlwall Castle and 10 hectares of adjacent woodland. Find out more by downloading our Thirlwall Castle leaflet.
Defending against Scottish raids
Other families were also building similar defensive castles in the area. These strongholds became an essential element in the defence of the English Border against Scottish raids.
Several generations of Thirlwall’s survived the border raids and prospered. When Lionel Thirlwall died in 1586, he left a comfortable endowment to his wide and each of his eight children. His will lists many domestic items as well as farm livestock and crops.
After the Union of the Scottish and English Crowns in 1603, more peaceful conditions developed and border strongholds became redundant. By the 1660s, the Thirlwall’s had moved to Hexham where the land was more fertile and the climate a little gentler.
The Thirlwall Castle Estate was sold to the Earl of Carlisle in 1748 for £4,000. The Earl was interested only in the land and allowed the Castle to fall into gradual decay. In the 18th century the crumbling ruins of Thirlwall Castle began to attract the attention of artists and historians who were interested in it because of its links to Hadrian’s Wall.