The castle all started out as a manor house built by Ralph de Nevill around 1340. It was finished by his son, John, in 1373. The de Nevills became Earls of Westmorland in 1397 and as their power grew they continued to add more and more special additions to their castle. Some additions included the wide moat, numerous towers, and gate houses. This magnificent castle lies in the Historic County Durham, England.
The first lord of Nevill was Ralph Nevill. Ralph was the grandson of Robert de Nevill who owned the manor house which would soon become the Raby Castle. Ralph succeeded Robert and took over the manor house. Ralph first had a great dispute with the Bishop Bek. Ralph refused to proceed with his armed forces with his horses ready to go to battle with Scotland. Because of that Ralph s first son was slain by James, the Earl of Douglass. Ralph s other son Ralph the second was also taken by James but was used for randsom. He then became the Hero of Neville s Cross in 1346 when he took David, the King of Scots and Montlhery prisoner.
Ralph s son and successor, John, was next to own the Raby Castle. He was summoned to Parliament in 1368 and created the Knight of the Garter that following year. He was retained by the Duke of Lancaster to serve him in peace and war. At various periods he was the Warden of East Marches, Governor of Bambrough, High Admiral of England, he also fought against the turks.
In 1569, the Nevills lost the Castle when Charles, the sixth Earl, took part in a rebellion against the Queen. The Castle then went to Robert Carr in 1613 but was in poor state by then. It got passed back to the crown in 1629. Sir Henry Vane removed large chunks of the Barnard Castle in order to repair Raby. In 1714 Sir Christopher Vane stripped the castle of its lead, iron, and glass doors. This was because his son married against his wishes. The son, Gilbert, took his father to court and he was forced to pay for the repair of the castle.
The Earls of Darlington and Henery Vane made extensive alterations to the castle between 1758 and 1792. They added a dramatic entrence hall, and the interesting octagon drawing room. The Vane s became Dukes of Cleveland in 1833. A fire destroyed the south front part of the castle in 1840 and further repairs were carried out afterwards. To this present day the castle is occupied by Lord Barnard.